Colworth is a centre for scientific excellence and the global R&D centre for Unilever, having been at the forefront of Unilever’s research for over 60 years.
Colworth Park has a strong track record of building a number of highly successful brands including Lipton, PG Tips, Flora, Magnum, Cornetto, Ponds and Dove. It currently employs more than 600 people from 30 nationalities, who between them have almost 130 PhDs. Current research themes include sustainability, health and wellness, biosciences and processing.
Colworth is one of Unilever’s two main R&D centres in the UK, with unique facilities including large pilot plants and, housed in our greenhouses, the most northerly tea plantation. It is also home to their global Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre which underpins global consumer, environmental and occupational safety, and sustainability initiatives, and their Strategic Science Group which has the remit to explore new science and breakthrough technology for all of Unilever’s core categories.
Specialist R&D capabilities cover digital, open innovation, consumer insights, sensory assessment, scientific measurement, microbiology, design and engineering. Unilever has a substantial IPR portfolio – 20,000 granted patents – and Colworth drives a strong pipeline delivering new patent filings and publications annually.
Unilever currently employs more than 600 people from 30 nationalities, who between them have almost 130 PhDs. They bring together diverse scientific and technical expertise including plant science, cell and molecular biology, health psychology, social science, engineering, physical sciences, and environmental and human health sciences. Specialists in information and technology management ensure that R&D scientists worldwide can access the information they need to carry out their work efficiently.
Colworth has been at the forefront of Unilever’s research for 60 years, and provided much of the early innovation to support their expanding interests in new businesses such as agribusiness and frozen foods in the 1960s and 70s. It was responsible for breakthrough technologies including the home pregnancy test kit, pyramid tea bags, and a range of healthier great tasting and exciting ice creams, as well as more recently the HeartAge tool that support’s lifestyle behaviour change.
The centre sponsors the Colworth Medal, one of the most prestigious annual awards conferred by the UK’s Biochemical Society. First presented in 1963, it recognises outstanding research by a young biochemist of any nationality who has carried out the majority of his or her work in the UK.
Companies decide to locate at Colworth Park because it is a world class location for science and technology companies, offering a unique comprehensive support environment which enables businesses to grow and flourish.