Unilever has announced that it will invest undisclosed amount to establish a new global foods innovation center in the Netherlands.
The innovation center is expected to be fully operational by April 2019.
Located in Wageningen, the new centre will house its food unit’s research and development (R&D) organizations that are currently located in Vlaardingen (the Netherlands), Heilbronn (Germany) and Poznan (Poland).
It will accommodate a total of around 550 employees.
Unilever Europe president Jan Zijderveld said: “The Agri-Food Innovation climate in The Netherlands is very strong.
“The co-location of all elements of our Foods R&D organization within the Foods Innovation ecosystem in Wageningen will enable Unilever to strengthen its ability to develop cutting edge Foods innovations in close collaboration with the Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and a broad variety of other science institutes and startups”.
According to Unilever, with co-locating R&D resources of its home care, personal care, foods and refreshment into key R&D locations, it can create critical mass in expertise areas.
Besides, the move will enable the company to ensure that the technologies it develops eventually result in breakthrough innovations to the markets.
Additionally, the London based multinational fast moving consumer good company said that its aim is to develop its R&D sites gradually into innovative ecosystems while taking complete advantage of its external partners’ knowledge and expertise.
Unilever Foods president Amanda Sourry said: “The Foods Innovation ecosystem in Wageningen will bring together a strong combination of in-house R&D and external science and technology, talent and facilities, increasing the impact of Unilever’s own resources and capabilities, and ultimately creating the innovative power that we need to provide leadership in Foods”.
Apart from the foods R&D, the company is also set to relocate its home care and personal care R&D facilities to the Innovation ecosystems in Port Sunlight while its refreshment organizations will be moved to Colworth Science Park.
All these R&D facilities are currently based at the Vlaardingen which will be shut down in the course of time.