Netherlands: Unilever to centralize R&D operations
Unilever, the consumer goods giant, has announced its intention to consolidate the entirety of its Food R&D operations in northern Europe into a single combined global Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen, Netherlands.
Existing operations in Vlaardingen (Netherlands), Heilbronn (Germany) and Poznan (Poland) will be co-located in the new centre, Unilever said, with the Vlaardingen site set to close over time.
"By co-locating R&D resources of our categories (Home Care, Personal Care, Foods & Refreshment) into our key R&D locations, Unilever will create critical mass in expertise areas to ensure that the technologies ultimately bring benefit-led, breakthrough innovations to the markets", the firm noted in a statement.
Commenting on the strategic move, 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".
The total project is expected to be finalised by the second quarter of 2019, Unilever said.