Organization Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I) About 4,000 active scientists and technologists at AkzoNobel work in what we call RD&I conducting leading edge research, developing products and processes, and providing technical support to our customers and manufacturing operations. They are based in approximately 130 laboratories worldwide. The vast majority of our researchers are attached to individual businesses within the company. They are the “customer-facing” powerhouse of our Research & Development community whose task it is to develop and support new products that meet customer demand and needs and to continuously improve the processes that we use to make them. They are supported by teams of world-class scientists and engineers that have been organized into specialized “Strategic Research Groups” or “Global Expertise Groups” at Business Area levels. With clear understanding of our business strategy, they carry out longer range, strategic and underpinning research in business-led innovation programs and develop new, truly differentiated technology platforms that will drive the profitable organic growth of AkzoNobel’s businesses. Our research and development activities are complemented by Communities of Practice. These are “super networks” of experts in particular fields whose role it is to ensure that we share and make the best possible use of the vast reserve of product knowledge, applications know-how and insight into customer needs that we possess within the company. The communities of practice bring together technical experts and other experts in innovation. We rely on them to identify gaps in our knowledge and know-how and propose solutions that enable us to overcome any knowledge deficits and to enhance our collective knowledge.