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Trade News  |  1 juillet 2019
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Running to the future: BASF bolsters investment in footwear segment

  • New Footwear Development Center opens in the U.S. and Thailand; Footwear Innovation Center in Taiwan to be launched in 2020
  • Latest technologies and innovative solutions accelerate go-to-market process for customers   
  • BASF connects designers and brand owners to material innovation and production across the world

Ludwigshafen, Germany, Wyandotte, MI, and Singapore, July 1, 2019 – BASF announces new investments to strengthen its global footwear presence: opening new Footwear Development Centers in the US. and Thailand, launching a Footwear Innovation Center in Taiwan, and expanding the Footwear Development Center in Italy. Bringing together a dedicated team of process engineers, footwear specialists and technicians coupled with the latest technologies and machinery, these centers will serve as a global platform to formulate and test new material innovations, refine processes and evaluate concepts in large-scale production environments.

New Footwear Development Centers in the U.S. and Thailand, Expansions in Italy

Located in Wyandotte, Michigan, the Footwear Development Center is a 2000-square-foot lab that is fully equipped with advanced footwear machinery for outsole, midsole and unit sole developments. The Center helps designers bring their visions to life and enhances customers’ speed to market by new material testing and prototype production via polyurethane direct injection molding.

“Through the Footwear Development Center, BASF is helping customers drive innovation in the footwear industry and making the future happen now,” said Pete Zorney, Business Director Consumer, North America, BASF.

BASF also recently expanded its Footwear Development Center in Italy and has opened a new center in Thailand. Both feature new machinery with direct injection molding technology, as well as showrooms that highlight BASF’s decades-long experience in producing innovative products.

“The Footwear Development Center located in Italy is considered a pioneer in the industry as it was the first that brought material expertise and innovation under one roof in this fashion and footwear hub,” said Thomas Bartz, Business Manager Consumer, Europe, BASF. “We now can connect designers and brand owners to material innovation and production, be it Europe, the U.S. or Asia. This has become all possible thanks to our footwear powerhouses across the world.” 

Taiwan Footwear Innovation Center to launch in 2020

In 2020, BASF will also launch the Footwear Innovation Center in Taiwan to further strengthen its capabilities and customer co-development approaches in Asia Pacific. Strategically located in Taiwan, the Center will give footwear professionals first-hand experience about how BASF materials can help develop future footwear using the latest manufacturing processes in areas such as comfort, performance, quality and design.

BASF Solutions Shaping the Future of Footwear Materials

BASF recently introduced X-Swift, a multipurpose athleisure shoe featuring its performance technologies, in collaboration with Longterm Concept. BASF will also present a visionary new shoe concept that will be unveiled at the upcoming A+A Fair in Düsseldorf, Germany.

“With over 40 years of rich experience in the footwear materials segment, we are proud of our innovations, such as Infinergy®, high rebound PU midsole or new thermoplastic polyurethane grades, which have transformed the footwear landscape. Our recent investments into this segment are a symbol of our commitment to the industry, and we look forward to developing more exciting innovations in the future,” added Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF.

Find out more about what the Footwear Development Center in North America has to offer here. You can also locate where BASF’s global footwear powerhouses are in the attachment.   


About BASF’s Performance Materials division

BASF’s Performance Materials division encompasses the entire materials know-how of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof. Globally active in four major industry sectors – transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods – the division has a strong portfolio of products and services combined with a deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Key drivers of profitability and growth are our close collaboration with customers and a clear focus on solutions. Strong capabilities in R&D provide the basis to develop innovative products and applications. In 2018, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of €7.65 billion. More information online:


About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 122,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €63 billion in 2018. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at



A BASF employee pulls a shoe out of the mold on a GUSBI machine. Footwear Development Center in Wyandotte, Michigan
A BASF employee pulls a shoe out of the mold on a GUSBI machine. Footwear Development Center in Wyandotte, Michigan 
Dernière mise à jour 1 juillet 2019