Unilever food innovation center in The Netherlands
Unilever plans to build a new global food innovation center in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

LONDON — Unilever has announced plans to build a new global food innovation center in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The company’s foods research and development organizations, currently based in Vlaardingen, The Netherlands; Heilbronn, Germany; and Poznan, Poland; will be co-located at the new facility, which will house approximately 550 roles and is expected to be fully operational by April 2019.

“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 company said. “In addition, we aim to evolve our R.&D. sites into innovation ecosystems to leverage the knowledge and expertise of external partners.”

Unilever’s foods R.&D. team will collaborate with the Wageningen University & Research and a variety of other science institutes and start-ups to develop cutting-edge innovations, said Jan Zijderveld, president, Unilever Europe.

Amanda Sourry, Unilever
Amanda Sourry, president of Unilever Foods

“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,” said Amanda Sourry, president, Unilever Foods.

Unilever’s home care, personal care and refreshment R.&D. organizations that are currently based in Vlaardingen will move to Unilever innovation ecosystems in Port Sunlight and Colworth Science Park in England, leading to an eventual closing of the Vlaardingen site.