John Deere has officially opened its new European Technology and Innovation Centre (ETIC) in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
The new facility will serve as a primary resource for intelligent solutions and advanced technologies aimed at customers throughout Europe, CIS, Northern Africa, Near and Middle East, and other markets using state-of-the-art John Deere technology.
“Since John Deere invests approximately four per cent of its equipment sales revenue into research and development – around US $4.5 million every working day – it is only natural for us to allocate a good portion of our R&D expenditure to one of Europe’s most demanding markets,” said agricultural & turf division president Mark von Pentz at the ETIC opening.
The ETIC currently accommodates around 90 engineers, computer experts, technicians and administrative personnel. Their main focus will be on the development of intelligent solutions, the integration of electronics into tractors and harvesting equipment, and on related technologies that help to automate machine operation, reduce operator fatigue and increase machine productivity in the field. Staff numbers will gradually increase over the next few years to around 200 employees.
“From John Deere’s perspective, Kaiserslautern is an ideal place to establish such a facility, as we can fully exploit a number of highly qualified resources,” said ETIC deputy director Professor Dr Pickel. “Apart from the technical university of Kaiserslautern, we maintain close partnerships with two nearby Fraunhofer Society institutes, the Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE) and the Institute of Techno- and Business Mathematics (ITWM). John Deere has also recently become a shareholder in the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), which will be of great value to our future developments.”
The 10,000m² ETIC site includes an office building, laboratories and workshops, and features a modern, architecturally appealing design. The facility has also been designed to meet the stringent standards of the German Society for Sustainable Building (DGNB), and is equipped with an innovative sun protection system, sun-sensor controlled interior lighting, a geothermal heating and cooling system and a photovoltaic energy system. Compared to traditional oil-based heating and electrical supply systems, the geothermal and photovoltaic systems will help to reduce annual CO2 emission levels by over 142 tonnes.
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