Organization Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I)We have about 3,500 scientists and technologists in AkzoNobel who perform leading-edge research, product & process development and provide technical support for our customers and manufacturing operations. They are based in approximately 130 laboratories world-wide.The organizational model for our research and development activities is fairly simple. The vast majority of our researchers are based in the businesses. They are the customer-facing, applications-driven powerhouse of our Research & Development community whose task is to develop and support new products and create better processes for making them.They are supported by teams of world-class scientists and engineers which are organized into Strategic Research Groups or Global Expertise Groups at Business Area levels. With clear understanding of business strategy, they perform 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 & 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 product knowledge, applications know-how and customer needs that we hold within the company by bringing together technical and other experts in innovation. Their role is also to identify gaps in our knowledge and know-how and propose solutions to overcome any shortfalls and enhance our collective knowledge.