Daikin To Establish European Development Centre in Ostend
Daikin Europe N.V. has embarked on creating an imposing European Development Centre (EDC) at its headquarters in Ostend, chosen as a site for the centre by Daikin’s Japanese parent company on account of its available and extensive expertise. The first of its kind in Europe, the EDC will play an important role in the development of innovative and energy efficient alternatives to traditional and conventional heating solutions.
Products for Europe made in Europe
The Ostend EDC will evolve in the future into an important research and development base with satellite centres in the Czech Republic and Germany and will be given a high degree of autonomy to develop its own design concepts and solutions specifically for the European market. In this respect Daikin Europe Chairman, Frans Hoorelbeke commented: “over the years we have become increasingly responsive to the diverse needs of the European market and this has given us a significant competitive advantage. We see the EDC as an extension of this since it will enable us to develop products in the same environment in which we sell, particularly in the heating sector”.
The company is already equipped with a great deal of innovative technology stemming from the development of its environmentally conscious, energy efficient, Daikin Altherma heat pump, which is rapidly gaining a significant share of the European heating market. The EDC is expected to play an important role in meeting this market’s requirements across an even wider base.
Investing in staff and technology
The first phase of the development of the EDC is associated with an investment of around 13 million euros, mainly for technology and infrastructure and work has commenced on the construction of several new hi tech testing rooms, one of which will enable engineers to simulate all climatic conditions extant throughout the 27 European countries. Daikin Europe expects to engage a team of 200 specialists by 2015, ranging from young University graduates to experienced researchers and engineers to augment the existing staff in Ostend.
Commenting on the training of new EDC staff, Bart Teerlynck, Deputy General Manager EDC, stated: “the market for climate solutions is at a turning point. We already have a great deal of in house know-how and have therefore, designed a training programme to educate EDC team members in a wide range of differing skills, some of which will be carried out in Japan”.
Daikin Europe’s Japanese parent company Daikin Industries Ltd. is also planning to open similar centres in China and the United States.
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