NCR and Cousins Properties are building a new headquarters for the financial technology company in Midtown. This rendering of the project shows a potential future second tower on the left. Rendering by Duda Paine Architects, HKS and Kimley-Horn

NCR to open new research hub at Midtown headquarters

NCR, the Fortune 500 financial technology company, said Tuesday it plans a new global research and development hub at its future headquarters now under construction in Midtown Atlanta.

The NCR Innovation Lab will include “research, innovation and design-thinking,” the company said in a news release, and combine the company’s focus on mobile technologies, data analytics and “the Internet of Things.”

NCR, perhaps best known as a maker of ATMs, retail checkout systems and other kiosks, has migrated over the years into software and services and powering the Internet of Things, or IoT. The idea is to seamlessly connect the way merchants, banks and hospitality companies connect with their customers on the web and in person.

The company also is part of a wave of big corporations moving their headquarters or research functions near the campus of Georgia Tech and other in-town universities to tap into the region’s faculty and student talent.

“The NCR Innovation Lab will accelerate our transformation to a platform based business model. We are living in exciting times where developers and customers from various ecosystems co-create and exchange value, which is changing the way we research, innovate, and design and think about our solutions and offerings,” NCR Chief Technology Officer Eli Rosner, said in a news release.

NCR announced plans early last year to shift its headquarters from Gwinnett County to a new campus at Spring and Eighth streets near Technology Square where it would base about 3,600 workers. The complex remains on schedule to open in first quarter 2018, spokesman Scott Sykes said.

Sykes declined to say how many jobs will be attached to the new innovation lab.

The new innovation center will open concurrently with the headquarters, though Sykes said the research planned for the center is already underway throughout the company’s development footprint.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported earlier this month that the company and its development partner, Cousins Properties, planned a second tower on the site. Cousins representatives showed plans for the future tower at a recent design review meeting.

The AJC also reported NCR was considering shifting more than 1,000 additional workers – and perhaps as many as 1,600 to 1,800 to the site – as part of the possible second phase.

Sykes declined to comment on any potential expansion plans beyond Tuesday’s innovation center announcement.

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