On the map
Our R&D centres located around the world help us respond fast to changing needs, tastes and trends among consumers everywhere.
The principle R&D centres
We have six principal research and development laboratories: two in the UK (Colworth and Port Sunlight), one in the Netherlands (Vlaardingen), one in the US (Trumbull), one in China (Shanghai) and one in India (Bangalore).
We have established 13 global product development centres focussing on new product development for a particular category or technology area. We have 37 regional development centres for adapting and implementing innovations and renovations in the regions. Finally, we also have small R&D implementation teams in all our countries and factories.
Port Sunlight, UK
Around 800 employees work to combine understanding in biosciences, neuroscience, sensory science, material science, physical sciences, process science, measurement science, data modelling and HTS that contribute to brands including Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Rexona, Axe, Domestos, Cif, Signal.
Each year this work results in over 100 patent filings and approximately 140 peer-reviewed papers and conference presentations. We achieve much of our success by working across a network of Unilever R&D centres. Scientists at R&D Port Sunlight work daily with Unilever colleagues around the world.
Around 650 employees at our laboratory at Colworth specialise in the areas of plant science, cell and molecular biology, genomics, health psychology, social science, imaging, biomechanical measurement and advanced web communications contributing to brands including Lipton, PG Tips, Flora / Becel, Magnum and Solero.
Our Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) is also based here. SEAC ensures that safety and environmental decisions are made independently of commercial considerations. All Unilever products must be approved by SEAC who play a continuous role in assessing product safety from the first product idea through to a final rigorous pre-market assessment and post launch monitoring.
Vlaardingen, the Netherlands
More than 1000 employees and over 40 nationalities at our centre in Vlaardingen focus on the areas of bioscience, nutrition & health, sensation, perception & behaviour, structured material and process sciences, advanced measurement and data modelling.
Contributing to brands including Lipton, Knorr, Sun, Omo, Skip, Persil, Surf, Rama, Flora/Becel, Hellmann’s, Carte d'Or and Magnum, our centre in Vlaardingen is also home to our European Development Centre for Unilever Foodsolutions – one of the world’s leading foodservice businesses.
Besides expertise in the areas of cell & molecular biology and imaging, the 400 employees at our Trumbull centre also work in packaging design and engineering, process design and engineering and information technology and management.
Focusing on global research and development of skin, hair and deodorant products for brands including Pond’s, Lux, Dove, Axe, Vaseline, Suave, QTips, Degree, Fair and Lovely, Sunsilk and Lifebuoy our centre in Trumbull also has an on-site pilot plant to quickly put ideas to the test.
Around 300 employees work in Bangalore and this site specialises in the areas of Microbiology, Virology and Microstructure Creation. Focussing on foods and beverages for South East Asia, the centre contributes to brands including Lifebuoy, Pureit, Ponds, Fair and Lovely, Radiant, Omo, Brooke Bond, Lipton, Walls and Knorr. Unilever's recent initiative on water purification was driven predominantly out of this laboratory.
With approximately 430 employees, our Shanghai research centre provides expertise capabilities in synthetic and mechanistic chemistry and traditional Chinese medicine. Focussing on global research and development of hair and skin products, the centre contributes to brands including Clear, Lux, Hazeline, Zhong Hua, Wall’s, Ponds, Lipton, Knorr, Vaseline, Rexona, Omo and Comfort.