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Research & development

Innovative, effective and sustainable products

“WE CAN FEEL PROUD OF R&D’S CONTRIBUTION TO UNILEVER’S PERFORMANCE. OUR NEXT STEPS WILL ENABLE US TO MAKE AN EVEN BIGGER CONTRIBUTION IN BECOMING A CORE ENGINE OF SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND DELIVERING OUR AMBITION OF SUSTAINABLE LIVING THROUGH THE GREAT BRANDS THAT CONSUMERS CHOOSE AGAIN AND AGAIN.”

Geneviѐve Berger, Chief R&D Officer

A career in Research & Development (R&D) at Unilever is like no other. We use in-depth consumer understanding and expertise in science and technology to create innovative, effective and sustainable products.

Thanks to Unilever’s broad portfolio, a career in R&D can see you working across multiple categories and geographies.

In R&D we bring ideas to life. We look to the future, take the lead, move fast and stay ahead of the competition. The Unilever R&D team is globally connected, seamlessly embracing the best technology wherever it happens.

We employ more than 6,000 R&D professionals globally and offer unrivalled career diversity and progression.

R&D is structured to support the key innovation areas:

Discover delivers functional benefits through new product technology

Design creates winning products, packages and claims

Deploy implements mixes for local markets.

We also have functional capabilities to accelerate, protect and differentiate our innovations:

  • Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre
  • Patents
  • Information and Technology Management
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Clinicals
  • Open Innovation.

Key facts:

Highlights on innovation

We have six strategic R&D laboratories that focus on delivering ground-breaking innovations

We have 31 major development centres that develop and implement product innovations

We have R&D teams in 92 locations around the globe implementing innovations in countries and our factories

In 2011, we invested €1 billion in research and development

We typically file more than 300 new patent applications a year

Worldwide we have over 20,000 registered patents and patent applications

Some of our latest innovations

  • Lifebuoy clini-care10 is a soap that delivers ten times better germ protection than other leading products
  • Flora margarine uses patented technology for a creamier taste, with 80% less saturated fat
  • Dove Damage Therapy shampoo contains fibre actives which actually penetrate the hair fibre and repair it from within
  • Magnum Infinity delivers longer-lasting pleasure using cocoa nib inclusions from an exclusive cocoa bean in Tanzania

Brands around the world

Unilever global brand logos

We've won more employer awards this year than ever before. We're the biggest European FMCG in the world, and are rated #1 by Climate Counts for our sustainability initiatives.

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