£65 million research facility to open in Liverpool

Judge Marko Bošnjak

MaterialsInnovationFact-1wThe Materials Innovation Factory “will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our researchers and professional partners to discover and innovate together”, says Professor Sir Howard Newby

The University of Liverpool and Unilever will open a state-of-the art £65 million Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) to accelerate research and reduce new product development times relevant to a range of sectors including Unilever’s Home Care and Personal Care Categories. 

The MIF will provide equipment at the cutting-edge of materials chemistry research to facilitate the discovery of new materials which have the potential to save energy and natural resources, improve health or transform a variety of manufacturing processes.

Supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as part of the UK Government’s Research Partnership Investment Fund, the MIF is a unique public/private partnership between the University and Unilever.

The facility is expected to be occupied by a total of 250 researchers, 

“The MIF will further develop our relationships with industry partners and provide an invaluable service to the energy and manufacturing sectors”
including University staff, a team of Unilever scientists based at their global Research and Development (R&D) Centre for Home Care and Personal Care products in Port Sunlight, and a broad range of other industrial and academic partners.

University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Howard Newby, said: “The MIF will further develop our relationships with industry partners and provide an invaluable service to the energy and manufacturing sectors.

“It will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our researchers and professional partners to discover and innovate together.”

Cameron Jones, Site Leader Unilever Port Sunlight, added, “The MIF represents another exciting step in Unilever’s next generation capability development and will help us to deliver bigger and better consumer innovations, whilst accelerating our product development process.

“There is nothing else like this facility in the world and to have it right on the doorstep of our Port Sunlight R&D Centre is extremely important for Unilever, the Liverpool City Region and UK plc.”

Construction of the 120,000 sq ft facility on Grove Street in Liverpool is due to commence this September, and is expected to be fully operational by the summer of 2016.

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