BELGIUM: Daikin Europe is set to build a new €140m EMEA Development Centre (EDC) in Ghent.
Since the foundation of Daikin’s EMEA Development Centre in Ostend in 2012, the company’s leading European research platform has experienced an explosive expansion with, among others, satellite centres in Ghent, Pilzen (Czech Republic), Güglingen (Germany) and Hendek (Turkey).
Now the EDC headquarters in Ostend and the facility in Ghent are slowly starting to burst at the seams. The EDC needs additional capacity, test chambers and larger research facilities equipped with the latest technologies.
As a result, Daikin is planning the construction of a cutting-edge development complex on the Wetenschap Park site of Ghent University Science Park in the second half of 2021. As a Top 100 university, UGent has a renowned doctorate programme in mechanical engineering, and is seen as a possible significant source of future employees.
UGent and the Daikin EDC have already worked together, and will intensify their collaboration at the new site in the field of new heating technologies, IoT and AI.
“We are currently working with almost 220 R&D employees in our branches in Ostend and Ghent. This is an increase of about 140% since the foundation of the EDC in 2012,” said Kazuhide Mizutani, the EDC general manager.
“From our start-up, we have expanded our research infrastructure and built additional test chambers for temperature control. All this as a result of the increasing demand for energy-efficient alternatives to traditional heating solutions. If we want to stay ahead of the market needs and the clear environmentally friendly orientation of Europe, then further expansion is imperative.”
The new building will consist of two parts – test facilities and office space. Daikin says that the test areas, with a total surface of about 4,000m2, will be among the most advanced of their type in the world. The most modern EMC chambers will be installed, as well as test chambers for, among other things, specific particles, discharge and material analyses.
Daikin is planning the implementation of the new building following the most advanced energy-efficient standards, including nZEB and a BREEAM “Excellent” certificate.
The office accommodation will amount to about 13,000m2, and provide space for approximately 500 employees. Around 380 employees are expected to be employed at the EMEA Development Centre by 2025.
Preparatory work could start towards the end of next summer. The intention is to inaugurate the test building in May 2023, and to take the office area into use at the end of 2023.