The Valspar Corporation (NYSE:VAL) today announced plans to expand its research and development campus and renovate its former headquarters building, located in downtown Minneapolis. This world-class environment for developing industry-leading coatings technologies and applications further demonstrates the company’s commitment to growth and innovation. The project will also create up to 135 full-time jobs over the next two years, including high-paying roles in the material sciences. Valspar is investing $30 million in the project, which will add 87,000 square feet of laboratory, meeting and office space. The project is expected to be completed in early 2014.
“Expanding our Minneapolis R&D center is a prime example of Valspar’s global leadership in coatings innovation and technology,” said Gary Hendrickson, chairman and chief executive officer of Valspar. “We will devote more resources toward developing differentiated coatings technologies to address the changing needs of our customers. Our scientists and researchers will have access to a best-in-class facility to more quickly and efficiently bring these solutions to market.”
The Minneapolis campus is the anchor of the company’s research and development network worldwide, collectively called the Valspar Applied Science and Technology Centers (VAST). The company operates a second flagship R&D facility recently opened in Guangzhou, China as well as more than three dozen smaller laboratories around the world. Together, these facilities enable Valspar’s research and development teams to drive the development of new products, solve customer and manufacturing challenges, develop polymers with unique performance and value, and establish new test protocols to ensure quality. The R&D center in Minneapolis will also enable Valspar to expand its partnerships with highly regarded research institutions and universities, providing co-operative internships and equipment sharing, including the University of Minnesota.
“Expansion of the VAST center affirms Valspar’s commitment to advance the scientific foundation in the coatings industry and apply technical principles to deliver innovation and value,” said Dr. Cynthia Arnold, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Valspar. “The expanded campus will enable research and development at the highest level as well as create the right environment for customer and supplier collaboration for new coatings technologies.”