Innovation in Unilever

Innovation is at the heart of Unilever’s ambition to grow sustainably. Science, Technology and Product Development are central to our plans to keep providing consumers with brands that improve their lives while having a positive impact on the environment and society.

Lifebuoy Germ Kill Spray

Finding new ways to grow sustainably

All our innovations are based on key insights into consumers’ needs and wants. We aim to develop products that have a purpose and that consumers choose again and again.

We work on a comprehensive portfolio of projects, combining the search for breakthrough technologies with the constant drive to respond to consumer demands, and make our products more sustainable.

To do this, we assemble key consumer trends, leading-edge science, and the application of data and digital technology to deliver extraordinary products, services, and experiences. Our investment in safe science underpins our leadership on alternatives to animal testing, while our understanding of the latest bioscience is leading to breakthroughs for consumer hygiene and microbiome care.

The products we develop, whether by ourselves or in partnership with leading scientists, academic institutions, suppliers, and specialist businesses, play an essential role in our ambition to make a positive impact.

Research at our world-class facilities

At Unilever, we innovate across eight key global R&D centres in six countries (US, UK, Netherlands, Italy, India and China). Our global centres of excellence are powered by our world-class technology ecosystems, such as the Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen, Netherlands.

Our research aims to bring together the best thinking and ideas - from wherever they exist, including universities and strategic companies - to innovate boldly for people and the planet. We have a strong record of breakthrough innovations – disruptive technologies that meet consumer needs better than any available alternatives and make a big impact.

Innovating for people and the planet

Unilever R&D employs more than 5,000 professionals globally to build our brands through innovation. We invest around €1 billion in R&D each year, and we hold a portfolio of more than 20,000 patents and patent applications worldwide.

More than 650 science, technology, engineering experts and statisticians work in Hindustan Unilever Limited across three sites in Mumbai, Bangalore and Gurgaon, contributing their specialist skills to make best in class products.

Sustainability and protecting the planet underpins everything we do. Our long-term science and technology programmes focus exclusively on technologies that have a positive sustainability benefit and deliver superior experiences to our consumers. We are using our significant scale and a sense of purpose to accelerate the industry’s transformation towards renewable and biodegradable ingredients and formats. This includes early industry leadership on plastic waste and ambitious commitments to abandon the use of fossil fuels in products and use 100% renewable energy in our operations by 2030.

Our Divisions

Beauty and Personal Care

The Beauty and Personal Care division is driven by scientific curiosity, technological prowess, and deep consumer insight.

Hindustan Unilever Limited continues to derive sustainable benefit from the strong foundation and long tradition of research & development at Unilever. New products, processes, claims and benefits flow from work done in various Unilever R&D centres across the world. Bangalore and Mumbai R&D Centres are key pillars within the Unilever Global R&D network, working closely with the business to create exciting innovations that help us win with our consumers. With world-class facilities, renowned scientists and superior science and technology culture, we attract the best talent and provide differentiated technologies to products and processes.

The R&D programmes undertaken by the Beauty and Personal Care division at Bangalore centre spans Microbiology, Cell Biology, Product Engineering and Surface Engineering. Scientists with extensive experience in Clinical and Consumer Science, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Virology, Cell Biology, Chemical Engineering, Physical Science, Chemical Science and Materials Chemistry form this exciting group. Interdisciplinary collaboration engaged in the development of breakthrough and proprietary technologies with innovative consumer propositions support our iconic Brands- Dove, Lifebuoy, Glow &Lovely, Axe, Love Beauty & Planet, Vaseline, Pond’s, Lux, Liril, Hamam, Pears, Rexona, Sunsilk, Clear, Closeup, Pepsodent, Lever ayush, Indulekha, TRESemmé, Lakmé and VWash.

Home Care

Our Homecare R&D teams develop products and brands that help to keep our homes cleaner.

Hindustan Unilever Limited products are differentiated from others due to the strong foundation and long tradition of R&D at Unilever. Unilever R&D centres across the globe, including the Bangalore and Mumbai R&D Centres, are involved in developing new products and processes to meet consumer needs and help them live cleaner and healthier lives. Team R&D works closely with the business to create exciting innovations which lead to cleaner and hygienic homes and clothes. The team comprises highly qualified scientists and technologists working in the areas of Fabric Solutions, Fabric Care, Home & Hygiene along with Processing, Packaging, Consumer Technical Insight, and Critical Functional Capability teams such as Safety & Regulatory.

With our new Clean Future strategy, our scientists not only develop products that are efficacious but are made from sustainable sources to ensure a Cleaner Planet and a Clean Future for our children.

The R&D programmes undertaken by the Homecare team are focused on the development of breakthrough and proprietary technologies with innovative consumer propositions and products for our iconic Brands- Rin, Surf excel, Wheel, Sunlight, Love & Care, Comfort, PureIt, BlueAir, Nature Protect, Vim, Cif and Domex.

Foods, Nutrition and Refreshment

Our Foods and Refreshment R&D teams use consumer insights to develop our brands and products.

Hindustan Unilever Limited continues to derive sustainable benefit from the strong foundation and long tradition of R&D at Unilever. New products, processes and benefits flow from work done in various Unilever R&D centres across the globe, including Bangalore and Gurgaon R&D Centre. We work closely with the business to create exciting innovations that help us win with our consumers. With world-class facilities, and a superior science and technology culture, we attract the best talent to provide a significant technology differentiation to our products and processes. The team comprises highly qualified scientists and technologists working in the areas of Foods & Refreshment along with Processing, Packaging, Consumer Technical Insight, Nutrition, and Critical Functional Capability teams such as Regulatory.

In April 2020, HUL added a new R&D facility for the Nutrition business based at Gurgaon.

The R&D programmes undertaken by Foods & Refreshment are focused on the development of breakthrough and proprietary technologies with innovative consumer propositions and products for our iconic Brands- Brooke Bond, Lipton, Kissan, Kwality Wall’s, Knorr, Bru, Hellmann’s, Annapurna, Horlicks and Boost.

Back to top

CONNECT WITH US

We're always looking to connect with those who share an interest in a sustainable future.

CONTACT US

Get in touch with Unilever and specialist teams in our headquarters or find contacts around the world.

Contact us