Refrigerant manufacturer, Chemours, recently inaugurated its new innovation center, The Chemours Discovery Hub, on the University of Delaware's Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The state-of-the-art facility now houses more than 300 of the company's top researchers and scientists, consolidating most of the company's U.S. innovation efforts into one location to maximize collaboration and efficiency.
The Chemours Discovery Hub is 312,000-square feet, contains more than 130 individual laboratories, and was built over the course of 24 months without a single lost-time safety incident. At the Discovery Hub, Chemours will deepen its research partnership with the University of Delaware and perform experiments alongside professors and students to develop new applications for its products. Additionally, the company will use its facility to attract and recruit potential interns, co-ops, and employees.
"This is about so much more than a new R&D facility; it's about our company's investment in young minds who will be introduced to chemistry at the Discovery Hub, our continued investment in Delaware, and our investment in an innovation pipeline that will empower our customers and change the world for the better," said Mark Vergnano, president and chief executive officer of Chemours. "The Chemours Discovery Hub is a living symbol of the company we are becoming – open, collaborative, imaginative, and focused on the future. We are thrilled to see what innovations our team will dream up in this building, all within the creative environment of a public university."
"When we broke ground on the Chemours Discovery Hub here on the STAR Campus two years ago, we expressed our shared vision of a state-of-the-art research partnership that would expand the boundaries of scientific knowledge, inspire the important work of our talented people, and fuel our economy for years to come," said Dennis Assanis, president of the University of Delaware. "Today, we see that vision becoming a reality. I am so invigorated by the incredible opportunities that lie ahead."
The Chemours Discovery Hub is one of the largest R&D centers in the state of Delaware and one of the largest R&D facilities within the chemical industry. Some of the company's own products were used in the building's construction. The 4,000 tons of chiller capacity are enabled by Opteon™ low-GWP refrigerants, and the building is insulated with 96,000 pounds of Opteon spray foam. More than 2,800 gallons of paint, containing Ti-Pure™ titanium dioxide, were used in the building's coatings. Teflon™ fluoropolymers were used to insulate the building's 112 miles of networking cable.
More than 2,000 windows line the Discovery Hub, maximizing the use of natural light through the building's open floorplan. More than 1.4 million pounds of ductwork and 26 miles of piping and tubing were installed to serve the Discovery Hub's laboratory spaces. The building has achieved a Three Globes rating from the Green Globes sustainable building rating system.
"Collaboration between Delaware employers and our educational institutions has never been more important to the future of our economy," said Delaware Governor John Carney. "This partnership at the STAR campus between Chemours and the University of Delaware will drive innovation, connect students with leaders in their fields, and keep many of our most talented young innovators in Delaware. This state-of-the-art facility will also continue a long tradition of important scientific discovery in Delaware, and keep good, high-paying jobs right here in our state."