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CoorsTek to build $120 million Center for Advanced Materials in Golden

Emilie Rusch | The Denver Post

CoorsTek to build $120 million Center for Advanced Materials in Golden

CoorsTek will build a $120 million research-and-development and manufacturing facility in Golden, the technical ceramics maker announced Monday.

The Center for Advanced Materials will consolidate and expand existing functions spread out among different facilities in Golden, a company spokesman said.

To be completed in phases over the next two to three years, the new research-and-development hub, analytical laboratory and materials manufacturing facility will be in the Coors Technology Center business park on Table Mountain Drive.

"CoorsTek has made Colorado, Jefferson County, and Golden our home base for more than a century as we've grown to become the world leader in engineered ceramics," co-CEO Michael Coors said in a statement. "This investment will allow us to push the frontiers of technology into the next 100 years."

The Center for Advanced Materials marks the Golden-based company's second major hometown investment in two years.

In 2014, CoorsTek and the Coors family announced a $26.9 million donation to the Colorado School of Mines — the largest gift in the university's 140-year history — to help build the school's new CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering 

CoorsTek in 2014 also acquired Tokyo-based Covalent Materials Corp., bolstering its presence and R&D capabilities in Asia.

The Center for Advanced Materials will help CoorsTek better serve its North and South American customers, as well as attract high-quality talent to Golden, said Randel Mercer, executive vice president of global technology and market development.

"We're going to shorten our total development time getting from an idea in research-and-development and to a mass-production product," Mercer said. "Our whole goal is to get our customers what they need when they need it. A lot of their businesses are moving at a faster pace, and they need more specific requirements."

Founded in Golden in 1910 by Adolph Coors, CoorsTek operates more than 50 facilities worldwide, including 10 in Colorado, in Golden and Grand Junction.

The company, which got its start in oven-safe cookware, today creates high-tech ceramic components for use in automobiles, military body armor, semiconductor manufacturing and more.

The new facility will provide CoorsTek with room to grow and to add jobs in Golden in the future, Mercer said.

"We want to have a solid footprint in Asia, which we put into place in Japan. We want to have a solid footprint in Europe, which we're currently working on plans for expansion there, and we want to have a strong footprint in North America," Mercer said.

"(Golden) is a spectacular place to attract talent," he said. "When we find a scientist we want to have on our team, we almost never have difficulty convincing them to move to Colorado."