Performance materials company BASF has announced a series of investments to expand its presence in the global footwear market, including new footwear development centres in the US and Thailand, a footwear innovation centre in Taiwan, expansion of its footwear development centre in Italy.

The company says the centres will serve as a global platform to formulate and test new material innovations, refine processes and evaluate concepts in large-scale production environments.  

The US 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 moulding.

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

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