A research and development centre capable of melting and forming glass in a small-scale manufacturing environment is to be built at the Owens-Illinois global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio.

The R&D centre will help advance concepts and qualify emerging technologies that could revolutionise glass melting and forming.

The centre will include the ability to prototype product innovations, such as the company's recently launched VersaFlow jar and the Vortex bottle.

The centre is one component of O-I’s plans to invest in process and product innovation efforts and reflects a three-year, $35 million investment.

Since 2008, investments exceeding $30 million have yielded more than 25,000 square feet of R&D training laboratories in the glass container industry, and spurred the release of next generation manufacturing and inspection equipment.

Dozens of new research scientists, engineers and technicians have laid the groundwork for significant advancements in glass R&D.

O-I plans to break ground on the 18,000 square-foot facility in Q4 2012, and targets completion in late 2013. The facility will be part-funded by a $3 million grant offer from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, which O-I announced in June 2012.

The centre will result in the creation of 45 jobs in basic sciences, engineering and technical disciplines.