Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread company, has completed the opening of its series of three Innovation Hubs.
Innovation Hub – EMEA at its site in Bursa, Turkey is officially unveiled today by Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive at an event attended by government representatives, customers, brands and members of the Coats Group Innovation team. It follows the recent opening of Innovation Hub – Asia in Shenzhen, China on Thursday 28 March. Innovation Hub – America, the first of the series is in North Carolina, US and opened in October 2018.
These dedicated centres at key locations around the world enable Coats to collaborate with a range of innovation partners including customers, brands, suppliers, universities and start-ups. They will develop pioneering new products and processes in Apparel and Footwear and hi-tech products for end uses in automotive, Oil & Gas, protective wear and telecommunications by providing creative and inspiring spaces where an innovative idea can be developed collaboratively and rapidly worked up into a prototype design which is then manufactured in a stand alone pilot factory.
Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive, Coats, said: ‘Coats is a pioneering company and innovation is crucial to our success. To help structure our approach to innovation we are developing Innovation Hubs at key locations around the world. These are centres of excellence where we can develop new and potentially industry disrupting ideas. Our EMEA and Asia Hubs coming online is an exciting step in our new approach to innovation.’
There is a double celebration as Coats is also marking the completion of 50 years of full scale operations at its site in Bursa. The opening of the Innovation Hub is being followed by a separate event for the golden jubilee of Coats Bursa attended by employees and additional external guests. The history of its operations in Turkey stretches back even earlier to when it first started in Istanbul in 1952.
Each of the Coats Innovation Hubs have distinct areas of focus. The customer experience zone facilitates collaboration and creation of an initial idea. Dedicated flexible manufacturing enable innovative prototypes to be produced with speed and a quality laboratory is able to prove that concepts designed and created actually meet the functional parameters of the final product or garment.
Unique to Innovation Hub – EMEA is a model car which is on display and provides the base for an augmented reality experience. Visitors are able to explore the car via an interactive screen and see the multiple products Coats deliver to the automotive industry in their end use. These range from Coats’ pioneering composite products to safety critical threads used in airbags and seatbelts.
The location of the Hubs has been specifically chosen. Bursa is at the centre of the automotive industry in Turkey and will drive development into that sector through its focus on composite design and engineering, as well as across all Coats’ technologies. It will be key to developing an innovative range of products taking personal protection garments to the next level in terms of comfort, fit, look and of course safety. China is a leading hub for apparel and footwear and will have a focus on creating a sustainable product portfolio.
It is anticipated the two latest Innovation Hubs will follow the success of the first in the series: Innovation Hub – America, at Coats’ Sevier manufacturing site in North Carolina, US. It has been in constant use since opening and has collaboration partner meetings booked six months in advance.