Today’s announcement means that Unilever will move all roles in R&D Foods that are currently based in Vlaardingen, Heilbronn and Poznan, to the new global Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen. The new centre, which will house approximately 550 roles, is expected to be fully operational by April 2019.
By co-locating R&D resources of our divisions (Home Care, Beauty & 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. In addition, we aim to evolve our R&D sites into innovation ecosystems to leverage the knowledge and expertise of external partners.
Jan Zijderveld, President Unilever Europe: "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”.
Amanda Sourry, President Unilever Foods & Refreshment: “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”.
The R&D Home Care, Beauty & Personal Care and Refreshment organisations that are currently based in Vlaardingen will move to the Innovation ecosystems in Port Sunlight (Home and Beauty & Personal Care) and to Colworth Science Park (Refreshment). These moves and the move of the Foods R&D organisation from Vlaardingen to Wageningen lead to the fact that the Vlaardingen site will close over time.
Unilever will now start the consultation process. The building of the Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen will only commence following the completion of this process. We expect the total project to be finalised by the second quarter of 2019.