Eaton Opens New Global Innovation Center to Drive Development of Energy-Efficient Power Systems

January 23, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Eaton Corp. joined with its partners at Czech Invest and the Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT) to announce the opening in Prague of Eaton’s newest global Innovation Center. The new facility at Roztoky Science & Technology Center will be Eaton’s first global innovation center in Europe and fifth in the company’s global network of advanced innovation centers, also located in the United States, India and China.

The Innovation Center will conduct cutting-edge research focused on the development of more energy-efficient power systems and the electrification of transportation, vehicle and aircraft applications. Working closely with its partners at the CVUT, Eaton plans to recruit up to 50 highly skilled engineers within the first year of the facility’s opening and to increase the total workforce to about 300 in the next four to five years.

The European Innovation Center will serve Eaton’s regional global customers such as Škoda Auto, VW Group, E.ON, HP and Czech Railways to develop next generation power management solutions that make electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power operate more efficiently, effectively, safely and sustainably.

Miroslav Kizek, General Director, CzechInvest, highlighted the importance of Eaton’s announcement to the Czech Republic. "The opening of Eaton’s Innovation Center in Prague is one of the most significant inward investments of recent times into the Czech Republic. This is not only about the creation of 300 highly skilled jobs, but also a vote of confidence in the ability of the country’s engineers to deliver world-class innovation."

Lennart Jonsson, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Eaton Corporation, highlighted the central challenge the facility will address. "Eaton’s new Global Innovation Center in Prague will not only develop technologies that contribute to the reductions in carbon emissions necessary to stabilize the global climate, but also help significantly reduce operating costs for customers in energy-intensive industries from transportation to information technology. This is important because by 2050, global energy demand will double, however to limit global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, CO2 emissions must be halved. According to the respected International Energy Agency (IEA), 60% of this target must be met by energy-efficient technologies – representing a total incremental investment of $10.5 trillion by 2030."

Yannis Tsavalas, Eaton’s president for Europe Middle East and Africa, explained why the decision was taken to locate the facility in Prague. "We chose to locate the Innovation Center in Prague for several reasons, but most important for us were the city’s close proximity to many of our customers in the region, world-class engineering talent from the Czech Technical University and the strong support and involvement of Czech authorities. The new facility will also build on Eaton’s existing operations in the Czech Republic, which include our Vehicle Group manufacturing facility in Chomutov and Electrical facilities in Prague and Suchdol nad Luznici."

More news and information regarding the latest developments in Smart Grid electronics can be found at Darnell’s SmartGridElectronics.Net.