Just outside the city limits of Århus in Jutland, in a greenfield development site bordering the main route to the north, an unusual-looking building has taken shape and recently become occupied. It is triangular, and within the glass-clad apex pointing towards the road sits an unusual object – a full-size wind turbine nacelle.
This intriguing building is the new global research and development centre of Vestas Wind Systems, the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines. Some 600 engineers, programmers and other specialists representing 18 different nationalities have their workplaces in this building, which opened its doors just five months ago. And already, according to an article in national daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende, it is being enlarged.
300 more specialists will be joining the research and development centre's workforce from various locations around Århus, while in 2011 Vestas will be moving its HQ staff from the nearby town of Randers to a new building alongside the R&D centre. Altogether there will be around 1,400 people in Vestas' global nerve centre.
Vestas R&D director Finn Strøm Madsen told Berlingske Tidende: "The idea of this place is to create the ultimate in integrated product development, where we bring everyone together. That is, we bring customers, suppliers and Vestas together to collaboratively develop technologies and products."
The new centre is designed and equipped so that Vestas' suppliers can send people from their development departments to the centre where they can literally sit side by side with Vestas development staff. And customers can visit the monitoring centre where Vestas is in online contact with the 12,000 wind turbines that they monitor on their clients' behalf, and review how well their products are performing. So altogether, the new Vestas centre acts as a gathering ground for all available expertise.