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Brunswick innovation lab has new name and new building

David Foulkes, chief technology officer at Brunswick Corp., speaks at the grand opening of the Brunswick I-JET Lab.

David Foulkes, chief technology officer at Brunswick Corp., speaks at the grand opening of the Brunswick I-JET Lab.

Brunswick Corp. said it recently celebrated the grand opening of new quarters for the Brunswick I-JET Lab, which has been known as the Brunswick Innovation Laboratory in the Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The newly constructed building is at 1904 S. First St. Beginning last April, the Brunswick I-JET Lab had occupied temporary quarters. Brunswick is the first company in the research park's new growth facility to mark such an event.

The company said the new name was inspired by the students and staff who work there, and it incorporates the acronym for Brunswick Illini — Joint Explorations in Technology lab.

The new name fits with the changing times and the company's evolving business model, explained Brunswick chairman and CEO Mark Schwabero, who led a contingent of the firm's top executives that attended the event.

"Brunswick will mark its 175th year in business in 2020," Schwabero said in a statement. "You don't stay in business that long without being innovative, agile and resilient. Technology and innovation have always been important to us, and never more so than today as we see consumers desiring even more in the way of features and connectivity in both marine and fitness."

Mark Schwabero, Brunswick’s chairman and CEO, tries out a virtual technology headset during the grand opening.

Mark Schwabero, Brunswick’s chairman and CEO, tries out a virtual technology headset during the grand opening.

"It also is fitting that 'Illini' has a prominent position in our facility's new name," said David Foulkes, the company’s chief technology officer. "Obviously, the close ties to the University of Illinois, with its resources, staff and gifted students, are truly unique. These strengths, along with those of other companies within the park, offer an atmosphere conducive to collaboration and learning.

"Further, the 'JET' portion of the name aptly describes the urgency and energy with which those at the Brunswick I-JET Lab approach their duties and responsibilities," Foulkes added.

Foulkes pointed out that research and development is a continuous effort throughout Brunswick to drive innovation. The company said the efforts have been solidly productive as it continues to outpace its competition in the introduction of new products to market, as well as securing patents on its technologies and features. In 2016, Brunswick ranked among the top 25 Illinois-based companies in securing patents.

The Brunswick I-JET Lab works closely with Brunswick corporate and divisional resources to accelerate the company’s progress in areas of high interest, including the Internet of Things, advanced analytics, and a range of human-machine interaction and enhanced user-experience technologies.

More than 100 companies, including industry leaders such as Abbott, John Deere and Yahoo, have facilities in the 200-acre research park, which is adjacent to the university's campus.

"It feels good to have a place to call home," Schwabero said. "Our name is on the building and on the door, but what truly excites us is the work that is being done inside by the talented and dedicated researchers and students."

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