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  • Innovation Factory to meet Product Development Challenges
    From left to right: Professor Dame Janet Beer, David Blanchard, Chief Research & Development Officer at Unilever, Sam Gyimah MP, Science and Universities, Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, Professor Andy Cooper, University of Liverpool

Innovation Factory to meet Product Development Challenges

Oct 15 2018 Read 589 Times

The University of Liverpool’s Materials Innovation Factory, an £81 million facility dedicated to the research and development of advanced materials, has been officially opened by the President of the Royal Society and Nobel Laureate, Sir Venki Ramakrishnan.

A collaboration between the University and Unilever, the 11,600m2 facility brings together materials chemistry expertise with the latest computational and robotic equipment, providing laboratory and office space for University researchers and Unilever scientists from the global Research and Development (R&D) Centre for Home Care and Personal Care products in Port Sunlight. It can also accomodate other academic or industrial users on a flexible, open-access basis to facilitate cross-disciplinary collaborations, innovation and knowledge exchange.

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan said: “The strength of material science in the North West is, to a great extent, built on the collaboration between academia and industry which is so well embodied in the Materials Innovation Factory.

"Whether it is human health, sustainability or a range of other areas, advanced materials offer tools by which we can tackle some of the big challenges we face on the global stage. The range of expertise here in Liverpool can make a big contribution to meeting those challenges and to driving economic growth.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said: “The opening of the Materials Innovation Factory is an important milestone for the University of Liverpool. The institution is known for its world-class research in advanced materials and these impressive new facilities will serve to further accelerate progress.”

David Blanchard, Chief Research & Development Officer at Unilever, said: “This is an important next step for the partnership between Unilever and the University of Liverpool and a signal of our continued commitment to investment in the UK. With the world changing and innovating at a rapid pace, it’s key for Unilever R&D to work closely with strong, expert partners. The Materials Innovation Factory is a best practice example of this type of collaboration.”

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