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Welcome to Unilever’s Colworth Research & Development Hub

Creating brighter futures through scientific innovation, industry-leading safety science and collaboration. Working to create brilliant new product experiences consumers love.

Entrance to Ice cream design centre Colworth

At Colworth, we are pioneers in industry-leading safety and sustainability science and in developing ice cream and iced tea innovations to delight consumers.

Today we are part of a dedicated science park situated in the scientific heart of the UK within the Oxford-Cambridge Arc that is home to many of our strategic suppliers and university partners.

This means we have access to some of the world’s smartest minds and skillsets in one location. And that agility and collaboration makes us an engine for R&D innovation that attracts global scientific talent to work with us.

Andy Sztehlo profile picture

"Colworth is a one stop shop for R&D with dedicated teams of scientific and safety experts and access to facilities that help us to pilot, test and learn at speed."

Andy Sztehlo, Colworth Site Lead and Ice Cream Chief R&D Officer

Read on to discover more about the hub and the future-shaping R&D at its heart.

Unilever Colworth in numbers

  • 75+ yearsdelivering innovation
  • 500+employeesin R&D
  • 35 nationalities
  • 20+apprenticesbuilding their scientific careers
  • 88 PhDswith focused expert knowledge
  • 5 professorswith specialised scientific knowledge
  • 44 companiesworking alongside (including suppliers and University partners)
  • 554,000 sq ftof laboratory,office and ancillary space
  • 284patented technologies developed... and counting
  • 1 goalto leverage future-focused capabilities to create brighter futures
Dr Julia Fentem

"The scientists at our Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre in Colworth work to protect people and the environment by ensuring Unilever’s innovations and products are safe and sustainable by design. We are proud to be industry leaders in non-animal safety science and environmental impact modelling."

Julia Fentem MBE, Head of Safety, Environmental & Regulatory Sciences

An ecosystem nourishing progress

Partners

More than 40 companies and universities have a presence at Colworth Science Park including: Symrise, Bedfordia, chocolate specialist Barry Callebaut and Cranfield University. And Unilever R&D’s welcoming approach to open innovation has seen a growing number of collaborations driving product innovation forward.

Suppliers

Working jointly with Barry Callebaut, for example, led to the development of a new ‘dippable’ golden caramel chocolate that was a launch selling point of Magnum Double Gold Caramel Billionaire.

It’s also seen suppliers such as Firmenich, who work with us on flavour tonalities, move its UK operations to Colworth to foster closer links and work together on new opportunities.

Academia

We are also fortunate to be located within the Oxford-Cambridge arc and the Midlands Engine Catchment which gives us access to talent and partners beyond the sites environs that offer services including prototyping, engineering, scouting, sample production, 3PM audits and regulatory support.

A robot in front of a red Wall's ice cream freezer

Apprenticeships

Colworth also has 20+ Foods Professional Degree Apprentices working on site whilst studying for a BSc in Foods Science & Technology with Nottingham Tent University.

Our apprenticeships are designed to give new career scientists the chance to work on real business challenges. This can include work at the Advanced Prototype Engineering Centre on processing, prototype fabrication, mechanical engineering, mechatronics, electrical, control and digital engineering.

Find out how to apply to be apprentice.

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