On the map

We have research and technology centres around the world, from China to Brazil. Take a look at our R&D network.

From São Paulo to Shanghai

Our R&D centres located around the world help us respond fast to changing needs, tastes and trends among consumers everywhere.

We have six principal research and development laboratories: two in the UK (Colworth House and Port Sunlight), one in the Netherlands (Vlaardingen), one in the US (Trumbull), one in China (Shanghai) and one in India (Bangalore). Our scientists and engineers in these sites work seamlessly with a network of global and regional technology centres that stretches from São Paulo, Brazil in the west, to Shanghai, China in the east.

Brilliantly connected

Our work with academic groups and other third-parties ensures that we are connected with the very best and most up-to-date scientific thinking. Using the synergies across R&D, we define and design technology that brings vitality to life, delivering a continuous stream of innovation to our business.

Port Sunlight, UK

Unilever R&D Port Sunlight is the major R&D centre for the company’s home and personal care brands. Over 700 scientists work to combine understanding in areas such a material, physical, biological, and process sciences with the best consumer insight to give innovative products for the world’s supermarket shelves.

The global brands our scientists contribute to include Dove, Sunsilk, Lynx / Axe, Signal, Cif, Persil / Omo and Domestos. 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.

Colworth, UK

Our laboratory at Colworth has an impressive reputation, with over 50 years of scientific excellence behind it in fields such as: agribusiness, speciality chemicals, food technology, product safety, environmental impact, diagnostics and personal care. Over 700 scientists, technologists, legal professionals and support staff work at Colworth on a diverse range of activities. And now Colworth is set to become a world-class science park, open to businesses outside Unilever.

Our Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) is also based here. We want consumers to be confident that our products are safe for them and their families, and better for the environment. SEAC is led by world-class safety and environmental sustainability scientists with expertise in exposure and risk assessment, predictive modelling, toxicology, microbiology, chemistry, process and occupational safety, and environmental science.

They use the latest techniques, deep expertise and an objective approach to ensure that our products, the way we make them and how consumers are intended to use them, are safe and better for the environment. In addition to this, SEAC scientists work with leading experts globally to advance the science needed to assess the product innovations of the future. Learn more about our science and scientists here https://www.unilever.com/about/innovation/safety-and-environment/

Vlaardingen, the Netherlands

Vlaardingen is the home of our Foods and Nutrition Research Institute recognised for technological innovations in the fields of plant science, preservation and microbial science, consumer science, biopolymer science, human health and nutrition, and food processing. Some 900 people work here.

Shanghai, China

Our Shanghai research centre is a dedicated chemistry laboratory focused on developing and delivering novel molecules and functional materials across all home and personal care categories. The laboratory's ambition is to become one of the best chemistry laboratories in the world with first-class, unique capabilities in synthetic materials and natural actives needed to deliver break-through technologies to our products. The team of 70 chemists provides core capabilities in:

  • Natural actives and traditional Chinese medicine
  • Synthetic materials ranging from polymers to organic molecules and organo-metallic compounds
  • Micro-structured materials – porous and composite particles, encapsulations, controlled release and targeted delivery.

Bangalore, India

Unilever Research India is a unique laboratory within Unilever, where research on foods, corporate research and home and personal care programmes coexist and synergies between the three are leveraged extensively. In addition, this laboratory retains in-house knowledge on perfumery. Currently there are over 80 scientists (mostly PhDs from reputed institutions from around the world) and 130 research associates (who are engineering graduates or post-graduates in engineering and science).

Key expertise areas are: synthetic chemistry – organic and inorganic, skin bioscience, materials science, toxicology, naturals and process science. Unilever’s recent initiative on water purification is driven predominantly out of this laboratory. Major research programmes include skin / hair health, water purification, laundry cleaning, skin cleansing, tea science and nutrition.

Trumbull, USA

Unilever officially inaugurated its new Research and Development Centre in Trumbull, Connecticut in June 2005. The new US$23 million centre features open-plan spaces, as well as an innovation lounge area and on-site pilot plant to quickly put ideas to the test. Over 200 scientists and engineers at the Unilever R&D Trumbull Centre are focused on global research and development of skin products for brands such as Dove, Pond’s Vaseline and Axe. The US laundry product development team for All, Snuggle and Wisk is also based here.

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