Eczacıbaşı’s Building Products Division inaugurated the VitrA Innovation Center at the Bozüyük, Bilecik production complex on Thursday, 17 November 2011. The opening ceremony was attended by Turkey’s Minister of Science, Industry and Technology, Nihat Ergün, Eczacıbaşı Group Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı, the Governor of Bilecik, H. İbrahim Akpınar, Eczacıbaşı Group Vice Chairman Faruk Eczacıbaşı, Eczacıbaşı Group President and CEO Dr. Erdal Karamercan, senior executives of the Eczacıbaşı Group, and architects, academics, and VitrA-Artema distributors. The cost of the center, which will create the bathrooms and covering materials of the future, was TL 15 million.
In his speech at the ceremony, Eczacıbaşı Group Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı noted that VitrA Innovation Center symbolized the advanced stage of the Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division’s long-running investments in R&D and said, “This center has great significance for us. In the global competitive environment of today, innovation is no longer a luxury but rather an imperative for companies wishing to raise their targets…Global competitiveness is only possible with innovation-based quality. We need to develop a good roadmap that sets clear and net goals for innovation, which has been given a strategic role in the achievement of “Vision 2023 Turkey” objectives.”
Hüsamettin Onanç, Vice President of Eczacıbaşı’s Building Products Division, reported that the Division allocated TL 30 million to R&D every year and announced, “Our Division currently has 856 certificates of registration for patents, industrial designs and utility models. Our leading company in this area is Eczacıbaşı Building Products (VitrA Bath), which won the 2009 Turkish Patent Institute award for the most industrial design patent applications. We are confident that the new technologies, processes and products that will be created in this center will further boost our momentum in this area.”
VitrA Innovation Center will assemble all the R&D teams of the Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division under one roof to carry out the research, design, development, and production of new materials, processes and technologies for bathrooms and tiles. It will also organize events for architects, designers, researchers, academics, students and technical teams to promote an innovation-based corporate culture and explore new ideas that offer suitable solutions for future lifestyles and expectations.
The 21st century has transcended the information age and entered an era where dreams become reality. We are in an age that blends information, dreams and ideas unrestricted by conventional models. Innovation, now considered to be the most important capital asset of the 21st century, is vital to the success of all ideas and future plans.
The Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division’s corporate strategy is to use innovation effectively to create added-value products and services that surprise and delight consumers, so as to achieve its goal of positioning itself among the world’s leading producers in bathrooms and ceramics.
To encourage the development of innovations that have measurable benefits and create competitive advantages and to promote the development of an innovation-based corporate culture, the Division has reorganized its long-running innovation efforts under a new organizational structure and established a center for all its R&D teams. The environment-friendly VitrA Innovation Center, which is located at the Eczacıbaşı Building Product Division’s Bozüyük production complex, will develop new generation solutions for bathrooms, covering materials and ceramic applications. By establishing a platform where employees can freely communicate ideas, the Center also aims to encourage the development of an innovation-based corporate culture that promotes creativity and teamwork and the sharing of information, experience and ideas
VitrA Innovation Center’s mission is to provide an environment where the most imaginative ideas of architects and designers can be transformed into products. With the aim of enriching and increasing the number of innovative ideas, the Center will monitor advances worldwide and follow through on suggestions from colleagues while researching and developing new products, materials, processes and technologies that boost the competitive strength of Eczacıbaşı Building Products brands. Nanotechnology, electronics, water and energy, sensor technology, acoustics, ergonomics and composite materials all fall within the focus of the Center, which will give priority to market and technology-oriented innovation projects. The Center will also assist in the implementation of previously developed innovations. At the same time, the Center will contribute to the competitive power of the ceramic cluster located in the Eskişehir-Bilecik- Kütahya triangle by carrying out joint studies with industry companies in Turkey and abroad, institutes and universities.
VitrA Innovation Center is also intended to serve as a dynamic social space that creates encounters between architects, designers, researchers, academicians, and technical staff. The first thing guests to the three-storey, 5,000 m2 Center see is an exhibition space designed to inspire original ideas and encourage communication between diverse stakeholders. This section of the Center also includes an exhibition area, training workshop and seminar hall.
The Center’s exhibition space, designed to accommodate new projects every year, will blend creative ideas and designs developed by the Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division with culture, art, and lifestyle ideas. It will be a space where architects and designers from Turkey and elsewhere can freely display their creativity. Using products developed by VitrA, professionals will craft installations that offer a glimpse of future living spaces. Periodically, the Center will change the innovative projects exhibited in the space and every six months it will host work by new talent. The Center’s educational workshop also provides a space for interactive and productive gatherings.