Situated in a 10-hectare industrial site near the University of Technology in Tampere, Finland, the newest member of Cargotec’s Global Competence Network had its first foundation stone laid on Tuesday.

Cargotec’s Tampere site will play host to the largest testing area of all the firm’s research and development facilities, and will develop products for both the industrial business and the terminal business’s product lines.

It will be used to perform simulations and tests on new components and technologies prior to their introduction, including for automated equipment, navigation systems, remote steering and control systems.

Cargotec president and CEO Mikael Mäkinen said: “Tampere is our important centre of technology development. It serves as the spearhead for technologies related to energy efficiency and the intelligent use of machines. Many of Cargotec’s current solutions were not even imaginable some decades ago, but are now leading examples of technology in their field.

He added: “We are creating the future of container handling in Tampere. Forthcoming co-operation with the Tampere University of Technology, research institutions, and companies manufacturing mobile equipment will no doubt be inspiring.”

Cargotec says the centre’s design makes it one of the leading facilities in Finland in terms of energy efficiency, and it will continue Cargotec’s focus on improving the overall energy efficiency of its products.

The facility is scheduled to be operational during 2012, although construction work will continue until 2013.