Innovation will have a new home at Under Armour.
The athletic wear retailer on Tuesday opened UA Lighthouse, its new Baltimore, Maryland-based manufacturing and design innovation lab. The 35,000-square-foot center will be where the brand dreams up and develops its new, cutting-edge products and creates efficient manufacturing processes.
“As Under Armour celebrates 20 years in business, we are committed, more than ever, to driving global innovation and continuing to expand our global headquarters in our great hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, USA,” Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank said in a statement. “The UA Lighthouse will serve as a beacon to make product better, faster and more efficiently, ultimately solving real problems for athletes and making them better around the world.”
With UA Lighthouse, Under Armour designers, developers and even external partners, will have room to “push the boundaries of what is possible,” according to Under Armour.
Available technology includes: 3-D design and body scanning for custom footwear and apparel design that also cuts waste in the development process; 3-D printing and rapid prototyping with a 5-axis simultaneous machining center to make products come to life; apparel and footwear prototyping for designers and developers to test and refine products and processes; and apparel and footwear pilot lines to evaluate how concepts will perform in a full-scale production environment.
Innovations aside, UA Lighthouse will serve to bolster the company’s “local-for-local” vision, where products will be designed and made for local markets around the world. New product and process technology will be developed here and then get transferred to supplier factories and scaled.
“Under Armour’s approach to open innovation and collaboration can be seen in our strategic partnerships brought to life within the UA Lighthouse,” Kevin Haley, president of product and innovation at Under Armour, said. “We are excited about this game-changing opportunity and the endless possibilities created by bringing together our talented team and our world-class partners, to pioneer the future of design and manufacturing.”