A brief look at our heritageFind out how we’ve been changing the world since 1646 and how Alfred Nobel became one of our founding fathers. 1646 Bofors forge founded Our origins can be traced all the way back to a foundry established in the Swedish countryside by Paul Hossman. Sikkens business started In the late 18th century, Wiert Willem Sikkens opened a small paint and varnish works in a gatehouse in the city wall of Groningen. 1852 Illustrious beginnings for Eka Alfred Nobel funded the setting up of a company which went on to become Eka, now part of our Specialty Chemicals business. 1904 International enjoysearly success The Holzapfel brothers built a new factory in Felling, UK, to produce their increasingly successful International marine antifouling paint. 1933 Discovery of polythene A laboratory accident led ICI scientists to discover polythene, the very first plastic. Akzo Nobel acquired ICI in 2008. 1953 Dulux leads DIY revolution Dulux was launched onto the retail market and ten years later an Old English sheepdog was used in the brand’s adverts for the first time. 1994 Akzo joins forces with Nobel Nobel Industries was acquired by Akzo to create Akzo Nobel. Four years later, the company also acquired Courtaulds in the UK. 2010 Production starts in Ningbo The Ningbo multi-site in China was officially opened. To date, more than €400 million has been invested in the location.