Employees in research and development

Driving innovation

Exploring new, sustainable ways to meet our customers‘ needs

Our search for better never stops. We’re driven to find innovative, more sustainable solutions for our customers, communities and the planet. Read on to learn more about our approach to innovation and recent developments in paints and coatings technology. 

Drone inspecting airplane


We’re constantly looking for solutions that will make paint manufacture and delivery more efficient, while also improving our customers’ paint application processes. A few examples of the areas we’re focusing on include fast cure and low-bake technology, radiation cure systems, reduced overspray and innovative application, and cloud-based data and services.

Hornsea wind

Asset protection

The protection of surfaces and products is a priority for our customers, and our paints and coatings play a pivotal role in meeting their needs. We strive to deliver products and services that exceed their high expectations when it comes to longevity, chemical resistance, and accurate prediction of maintenance cycles. Our work includes developing innovative solutions such as anti-corrosive technologies, enhanced durability, application to new substrates and digital inspection services.

Can free from bisphenols styrene PFAS

Environmental protection

We want to have a significant and long-lasting impact on the protection of our planet. To this end, we bring new technologies and products to markets so that our customers have competitive, more sustainable solutions that are lower in carbon and more efficient in use. Our focus areas include the use of bio- and recycled materials, water-based and high-solids paints.

Bright film automotive

Surface enhancement

Paint and coatings breathe life into colors and effects. Our goal is to empower our customers to unlock greater value from their offerings by introducing innovative products and services that incorporate new functionalities and responsiveness. Examples include new color effects and paints, self-cleaning and antibacterial surfaces, energy management and electronics. 


Our research and development team brings together a wealth of experience and expertise. Meet some of our R&D colleagues from around the world.

Frank Bakkeren, R&D Director - Automotive and Specialty Coatings

"My key responsibility is to ensure everyone working in the various ASC R&D teams is as effective as possible at providing great solutions for our customers. I set priorities, remove any roadblocks, ensure the provision of equipment and resources, and help people develop their capabilities. At a day-to-day level, you’ll mostly find me meeting with stakeholders and people managers, discussing their priorities and needs.

I’ve been doing this for more than a quarter of a century and I love it. I love the opportunity to help people grow and to support them in their personal development while being part of a company with strong values and a genuine approach to sustainability. It’s a great place to win together."

Chen Ling, R&D Director – Decorative Paints North Asia

Ling Chen

"On a daily basis, I monitor priority projects, provide timely support and ensure accuracy within the R&D department. I also make sure I’m up to date on market trends, competitor activity, and ways to deliver optimal solutions for business innovation and cost reduction, as well as focusing on talent development.

The role enables me to play to my strengths – logical thinking, strong communication and the ability to translate needs into technical or business terms quickly. I enjoy collaborating with like-minded colleagues, which brings daily learning and growth opportunities, and I take pride in how R&D contributes to the business."

Rogerio Cassemiro, Alana G. de Souza and Gustavo Reis – young R&D professionals, Latin America

"As young professionals, chemists and researchers we play a part in developing new products and advancements, ensuring excellence and high performance in our processes and portfolio. We’re committed to our customers and consumers and delivering what they need. We’re constantly exploring ways to improve the quality, durability and efficiency of our products, and looking for sustainable solutions that meet the growing demands of the market. Working in the R&D team is exciting – it allows us to combine science, development and technology as we create, renew, reinvent and recreate."

Elaine Cristina Eiras Poco, R&D Director – Decorative Paints Latin America

"As R&D Director, my vision is to lead our company along the continuous journey of research and development, innovating in a sustainable way while aligning with business strategies and R&D globally. We seek to ensure a culture of cooperation and communication through technical discussions with the R&D teams, cultivating an environment that encourages creativity and collaboration and allows our multi-talented teams to explore, experiment and innovate. True innovation is driven by human potential, and our main objective is to make continuous progress that aligns with AkzoNobel’s culture and values."

Roger Jakeman, Chief Technology Officer

''Collaborative innovation will play a major role in helping us meet our own sustainability ambitions - and those of our customers" 

Alex yahkind scientist of the year award

Meet Alex Yahkind, our Scientist of the Year 2024

Our Scientist of the Year 2024, polymers expert, Alex Yahkind has spent the past 38 years helping AkzoNobel push the boundaries in paints and coatings. Alex’s achievements include a joint project with NASA, developing soft-touch, proprietary polyurethane polyol and melamine polyol technologies – and a current tally of 16 US and EU patents bearing his name.

Inspired to collaborate with us?

Does your company have a solution you think we’ll be interested in and did you miss the deadline for the Paint the Future challenge? Connect with us through our “Innovate with Us” program which runs throughout the year.

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