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LG Chem announced it had opened a new US research and development (R&D) centre in Savannah, Georgia, to develop new materials for next generation electric vehicle (EV) batteries as well as bioplastics and recycling technology.

The South Korean company also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Georgia Institute of Technology to collaborate on the development of new material technology.

It had also launched a recruitment campaign targeting local engineers and staff to help with the research. It plans to develop the innovation centre into a fully fledged R&D hub for North America by 2025.

The new North America Innovation Center would also work closely with the group’s EV battery unit, LG Energy Solution, which is building several plants in the US including a joint venture Savannah factory with Hyundai Motor Group.

LG Chem is building a battery cathode plant in Tennessee to supply the growing North American EV battery market as well as a biodegradable bioplastics factory in Illinois.

Vice chairman Shin Hak-Cheol said in a statement: “Even in technology leading regions like North America, we will strengthen our research capability and secure talent to leap forward as a truly global science company.”

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By GlobalData