London 16th March, 2015 – Steelcase Inc. announced today the plan for opening a new Learning + Innovation Centre in Munich, Germany, to begin operating in mid 2016.

In order to foster and accelerate innovation, this new facility will bring together over 150 people involved in research, design, marketing and support functions, in order to drive new product development in the European, Middle East and African (EMEA) region.

The design of the new space will reflect Steelcase’s latest research around collaboration and innovation, with the main objective of increasing productivity and the impact of product development.

“Steelcase believes innovation is the key to future competitiveness and our people are the key to innovation,” says Jim Keane, President and CEO, Steelcase Inc. “Companies have an obligation to invest in the ongoing development of employees and this space will host learning opportunities for our employees in the region. It will reflect research around active learning and ways of balancing physical and virtual space to create blended learning experiences, and focus on leadership development, sales and dealer training and product and application training.”

The Learning + Innovation Centre will host customers, dealers, architects, designers and those who want to come together to collaborate or wish to explore some of the emerging ideas around the usage of space. The centre will serve as a main area for leadership to gather and to engage with visiting clients.

Steelcase chose Munich due to its global character, close proximity to existing and potential customers, and easy access to and from the entire EMEA region.

“We look forward to welcoming our customers to this location so we can explore solutions that support new ways of working can be supported by new solutions. Our people working on product development are most effective when they are with customers, so they can build empathy for workplace issues, and test new ideas with the people who will use them,” added Keane.

As the Munich centre opens, the company’s facilities in Rosenheim, Germany will remain the home for the existing manufacturing plant and other functions, while the Schiltigheim, France location will remain a business centre and base for specific corporate functions.