SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Nexen Tire America Inc. is partnering with Plug and Play L.L.C., a Silicon Valley-based innovation platform and startup accelerator, to help connect with up-and-coming tire and auto technology development companies.
Nexen said the partnership allows it to "realize its 'open R&D' philosophy, offering collaboration and partnerships, especially to firms in the tire technology field."
The tire company and accelerator announced the partnership June 13 at Plug and Play's Sunnyvale headquarters where the company hosted its Summer Expo, welcoming more than 500 attendees representing top tier auto suppliers, original equipment manufacturers and venture capitalists.
"Nexen Tire is pleased to announce the partnership with Plug and Play, one of the world's leading accelerators," Don Lee, executive director of Nexen Tire America Technical Center, said.
"We hope to utilize this opportunity to build a stronger global presence in terms of technology and business, and transform into an innovative corporation while also contributing to the start-up ecosystem as a whole."
The partnership represents another step toward Nexen's vision of establishing itself as a leader in tire and automotive technology. During a recent dealer appreciation event hosted in Napa Valley, Calif., the U.S. subsidiary of Seoul, South Korea-based Nexen Tire Corp. emphasized its goal to grow its market share throughout North America and around world. It noted that technology will be a key factor in achieving that goal.
Nexen has backed that idea with a $178 million investment in a global research and development hub. The R&D center, dubbed UniverCity, is located in Seoul and combines resources that support product design and development in the U.S., Europe and China.
Plug and Play, which was among the first investors in programs such as PayPal, Lending Club, Dropbox and SoundHound, formed in 2006 and since has expanded its reach globally to partner with more than 280 official corporate partners.