Professor Luke Georghiou, vice president for research and innovation at the university, said: “Unilever recognises that access to university research can give the organisation a new vantage point. Strategic alliances of this nature are helping to put innovation and research at the heart of economic growth in the UK.”
“Unilever will benefit by gaining intellectual insights from world-leading researchers. The university will benefit from the commercial insight that can inform and direct our research in the future and generate real-world impact,” he said.
Speaking with FoodNavigator, the university’s head of business engagement Kris Matykiewicz refrained from giving further details about what these research areas are specifically or how long the partnership will last for saying this could be “commercially sensitive” information.
However he said that the research would take place across all four of the university’s faculties in areas covering sustainable consumption, process engineering, biophysics and systems biology, as well as aspects of inflammation, toxicology and hair biology, and would likely involve research that could have application within the food sector of Unilever.
Professor Jim Crilly, senior vice president at Unilever’s strategic science group, said that the idea of sustainability would be overarching in this multidisciplinary research.
Crilly said: “At Unilever we believe that to continue to be successful we need to collaborate with the very best partners to access new ideas and technologies to create superior and sustainable products.”
“The diversity of research fields that we will be exploring together is testimony to the range and depth of expertise to be found at the university and to our mutual interests in key areas of research,” he added.