How DuPont’s innovation centers bring it closer to customers

By Patricia Riedman Yeager, Contributing Writer

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASince 2010, the $36 billion science-driven manufacturer DuPont has opened a dozen DuPont Innovation Centers around the world, with a 13th set to open by year-end.

What are they up to? We spoke with Karin Weining, Global Innovation Excellence Leader, to dig in.

The centers invite customers and strategic partners to join DuPont in trying to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems concerning food, safety, and sustainability. They also allow DuPont, headquartered in Delaware, to display its technological advances in industries like agriculture, automotive, energy, and electronics. In the first two years, the centers brought in a total $60 million in revenue, says Weining, who oversees the international network. “This year we’ve already matched what we brought in last year,” Weining adds.

Not to be confused with R&D

DuPont-Johnston-Innovation-Center-752While they’re sometimes located near a DuPont R&D center, the Innovation Centers are more importantly situated near key industry sectors and clients, Weining says. For instance, the centers located in India, Japan, South Korea and Troy, Mich., make up its automotive network. The Taiwan center focuses on electronics and handheld devices. The center in Johnston, Iowa, pictured at right, specializes in agriculture. Some centers focus on multiple industries, such as Thailand’s center, which explores food and agriculture, energy, automotive, and construction. There are also centers in Turkey, Russia, Brazil, Switzerland, and Mexico.

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