Dutch multinational firm AkzoNobel — owner of brands including Dulux and Polyfilla — said it will develop a new €12.6 million research and innovation hub at its Gateshead plant that could revolutionize the company’s portfolio.
More than 100 of the coatings industry’s leading scientists will be involved in the new hub.
“Located in Felling, Gateshead, the facility will be home to teams of scientists and technical experts who will work on developing protective coatings for the energy, mining, infrastructure and oil and gas industries,” said AkzoNobel.
“The main focus will be on delivering cutting edge innovations and efficiencies for protecting steel and concrete structures from damage caused by corrosion, abrasion and fire.
“The new innovation hub will also offer a world class testing and simulation facility, enabling tests to be carried out in conditions experienced in the world’s most extreme environments.”
The facility is expected to be operational at the end of 2018.
“Our work at the state-of-the-art lab will have an important impact on our most critical industries,” said Conrad Keijzer, AkzoNobel’s executive committee member responsible for performance coatings.
“More than 100 top scientists and technical experts will be working on future solutions that will offer essential protection to a wide variety of products for our customers.”
Greg Clark, UK Secretary of State for Business, said: “Having grown up in the north east of England, I am very aware of the strengths of the chemical sector in the region.
“AkzoNobel’s significant investment in establishing a new technical innovation hub is further proof that Britain is open for business and underlines the growth we want to see and support in our local economies.
“As we develop our industrial strategy, we are determined to build on the diverse strengths of all of Britain’s cities and regions.”