A very broad spectrum of activities

Unilever is a global leader in research and development. Our R&D teams focus on creating distinctive new products with proven benefits that meet consumer needs.

Scientific foundations

At one end of the scale, we look at emerging technologies, exploring possible applications and collaborating with external experts in the field. At the other, in projects that last around six to nine months, we adapt products for local markets. Both are equally important for the future of our business. Sandwiched in-between is the day-to-day development of innovations.

Delivering ground-breaking advancements

Ground-breaking research is the foundation on which Unilever's R&D programme is built. This research takes a number of forms - for example research focussed on a single product category or longer-term projects that will benefit a broader range of Unilever's brands.  A third area of research is concerned with the five key scientific platforms that encompass the range of disciplines necessary for successful product innovation.

The platforms are ‘Advanced Measurement and Data Modelling’, ‘Bioscience’, ‘Nutrition and Health’, ‘Sensation, Perception and Behaviour’, ‘Structured Materials and Process Science’. Their role is to establish partnerships with leading academics and specialist companies in areas that have the potential to deliver market-disrupting innovation. In essence, the platforms provide new horizons for Unilever’s products and brands.

Focal point for Unilever scientists worldwide

They also provide a focal point for approximately 1300 scientists spread across our six R&D sites in the US, UK, Netherlands, India and China. By bringing together these diverse locations into one scientific organisation, we can leverage the power of collective minds to maximum effect. Everybody works in multi-disciplinary project teams, individuals from different platforms will join forces to tackle a particular scientific issue.

Platforms are the lens through which we look at the world of science and technology, both internally and externally. They are at the centre of our most exploratory and challenging research.