Henkel recently inaugurated its new Inspiration Center Düsseldorf (ICD). With an investment volume of 130 million euros, the Adhesive Technologies business unit has built a state-of-the-art and unique global innovation and customer center on the premises of the company headquarters over the past few years and has been gradually commissioning it since mid-2021.
With a floor area of 47,000 square meters, the ICD provides space for 30 laboratories, 4 technology centers and more than 650 Henkel experts. At the same time, the new building serves as a global customer center where Adhesive Technologies presents its entire technology portfolio of adhesives, sealants and functional coatings and works on new solutions together with customers from over 800 industry segments. The inauguration of the ICD will take place during a multi-day customer event focused on innovation and sustainability.
“The ICD marks the largest single investment in our company’s history and is a key element of our strategic framework for purposeful growth. With this state-of-the-art building, which is unique in the industry, we have created the infrastructure to take the innovation capabilities of Adhesive Technologies to the next level,” said Henkel CEO Carsten Knobel. “In 1922, Henkel started producing adhesives for its own use – today we are very proud to celebrate another milestone in the 100-year success story of Adhesive Technologies, which will further expand our leading position in the adhesives business. As such, the ICD is a prime example that embodies both our pioneering spirit for sustainable action and our long-term entrepreneurial thinking.”
“The ICD reinforces our commitment to further strengthen our globally leading portfolio and know-how in materials science and to create value for our customers,” added Jan-Dirk Auris, Executive Vice President Henkel Adhesive Technologies. “We offer our employees here an inspiring working environment that promotes knowledge exchange and daily collaboration and uses state-of-the-art technologies. At the same time, the ICD brings our entire portfolio to life for our customers and enables close collaboration with them and with external partners on novel future-oriented solutions. Our focus is particularly on sustainable innovations that contribute, for example, to CO2 reduction for our customers or to new solutions for a circular economy.”
Modern R&D facilities, digital technologies and inspiring working environment
With the ICD, Henkel has designed a unique innovation building. On a total of seven levels, in addition to office workplaces and conference rooms, it comprises 30 laboratories with various research and testing facilities, as well as 4 technology centers with double-height rooms that house, among other things, pilot production lines and equipment for large-scale applications such as in the automotive industry or for engineered wood. The laboratories are modular and can be adapted quickly and flexibly depending on the research and development task and to support collaboration between teams.
The heart of the building is a large light-flooded atrium including a coffee bar, which promotes the exchange of ideas between employees and provides space for events with partners, suppliers, customers, universities and start-ups. The ICD is the most sustainable building at the company’s site in Düsseldorf. It is designed to be resource-efficient, has a rainwater collection system, highly efficient refrigeration technology and meets the highest building insulation requirements.
The building offers space for more than 650 employees from the areas of research and development, product development, application technology, technical service and innovation. They use advanced digital tools and processes to improve knowledge sharing, increase efficiency and foster open dialog. This includes the use of digital platform technologies, for example, an innovative cloud-based tool for leaner, faster and highly collaborative innovation.
In addition, the ICD has a modern, data-driven laboratory where new formulations are automatically prepared, tested and verified around the clock. This enables a faster product development cycle and reduced time to market for new products by transforming data into valuable insights that lay the foundation for innovative new technologies. The ICD is closely connected with the global network of research and application centers from Adhesive Technologies to enable tailored solutions of global technologies for local markets as well.
Close collaboration with customers
In addition to the extensive research and development facilities, Henkel has also integrated a modern customer experience center into the ICD. Here, with the help of modern digital technologies and numerous exhibits, customers from all over the world can directly experience the innovative and technological power as well as the pioneering spirit of Adhesive Technologies in a wide range of application areas. Thanks to the flexible design, each visit can be tailored to individual needs. The area is then used to intensify the exchange and collaboration between customers and Henkel experts, and to jointly develop and test new applications in the building.
Globally leading with high-impact and sustainable solutions
Henkel Adhesive Technologies is globally leading with high-impact solutions in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. The business unit supplies more than 100,000 customers in over 800 industry segments with customized products and technologies used in a wide range of consumer and industrial goods. Adhesive Technologies employs a total of around 25,000 people. About 6,500 of them work closely with customers around the world as technical specialists, for example to make electric cars safer, electronics more efficient or food packaging more sustainable.
The central focus of Adhesive Technologies’ innovation activities is on developing sustainable solutions for its customers. The business unit is consistently working on products that enable resource efficiency in production and during use throughout the entire life cycle and that are based on renewable or recycled raw materials. In addition, Henkel offers a growing portfolio for the recyclability of, for example, packaging or consumer goods and the repairability of everyday products, and is working intensively on new debonding solutions to drive efficient debonding of a wide range of materials across industries, thereby increasing longevity and recyclability.