AkzoNobel widens global research center network

May 20, 2011

AkzoNobel has opened a new research laboratory in Deventer, the Netherlands, which will play a pivotal role in the company’s ambition to drive future growth through pioneering innovation.

Housing more than 200 top researchers from the company’s Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) organization, the facility is one of a network of six global RD&I centers that work with the company’s businesses to undertake the breakthrough research which leads to major innovations.

Speaking at the opening of the so-called Research Street complex, Graeme Armstrong, member of AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee responsible for RD&I, said: “With nearly 40 percent of our research and development capabilities in the Netherlands based here in Deventer, and with the leading edge facilities in the laboratories which make up Research Street, we have confirmed the position of the Netherlands as a cornerstone of AkzoNobel’s global RD&I organization.”`

The six global RD&I Centers host a combination of business-led R&D groups and several of the company’s Expert Capability Groups, who work in partnership with AkzoNobel’s businesses. Their role is critical in delivering the company’s ambition of increasing the contribution made by bigger and bolder innovations from about 9 percent to between 15 and 20 percent of revenue by 2015, and ensuring that at least 30 percent of sales will be derived from eco-premium solutions. In 2010, the company spent close to 20 percent of its global R&D budget in the Netherlands.  

Many innovations have already originated from the Deventer laboratories including Dissolvine® GL, a biodegradable chelating agent used for cleaning detergents; Perkalite®, which acts as a flame-retardant, as well as chemical intermediates used in the production of adhesives, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Building on this pipeline of solutions for key market segments will contribute to AkzoNobel being well positioned to benefit from global megatrends.