AKRON (Aug. 19, 2011) — In partnership with both the City of Akron and the University of Akron, China's Triangle Group Co. Ltd. launched its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary A3T L.L.C. during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Aug. 19.
Akron-based A3T will serve as Triangle's U.S. headquarters and technical center, responsible for conducting research and development in the U.S. on tire technologies, manufacturing processes, equipment for rubber processing, rubber compounding and other related areas. The office is located at the Akron Innovation Campus, owned by the University of Akron Research Foundation.
Members of the Weihai City, China-based Triangle Group, University of Akron officials, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Weihai Mayor Shutao Sun attended the event, during which Triangle discussed its plans for collaborative research with the university.
“A3T will work with the University of Akron to create a collaborative research lab that will focus on rubber and elastomer-related research and development,” said Triangle Group President James Bao in a press release. “Coming to Akron was an easy decision and a great start for the future development of A3T.”
Later in the morning, University of Akron officials signed an R&D contract with Triangle, allowing the tire maker to hire university researchers to develop new technologies at the school's Applied Polymer Research Center (APRC), operated by the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.
According to the University of Akron's website, the APRC is a contract services facility that performs between 300 and 400 projects annually for clients.
The tire maker has already hired its first Akron employee, Joanne Li, and plans to add a staff of 30 local employees — 10 in the area of research and development and 20 in sales.
In addition to Triangle's partnership with the University of Akron, Messrs. Plusquellic and Sun signed the Weihai and Akron Friendly Cities Cooperative Agreement Aug. 18 in order to promote mutual understanding and friendship between people from China and the U.S.
Triangle is considered the No. 14 tire maker worldwide with 2010 sales of $2.26 billion, according to Tire Business' Global Tire Report rankings. It operates three tire plants in the Weihai City area, employing more than 7,500.