The University of Nottingham & Unilever sign strategic research agreement

29-3-2013 — / — Unilever, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods, has signed a framework agreement with The University of Nottingham which will see the company exploring new research opportunities with the University in a range of areas including consumer psychology, green processing, and energy and sustainability.

Unilever has a long association with The University of Nottingham, and has in the past worked with Nottingham academics to look at consumer behaviour, food and crop science, biomedicine and MRI scanning. In addition, the company also regularly offers studentships and summer placements to students at the University.

The agreement was signed by Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, and Unilever’s Professor Jim Crilly, Senior Vice President of the company’s Strategic Science Group.

Partnership will drive bigger and faster innovation
Speaking at the signing of the framework agreement with the University, Professor Crilly said: “Research and innovation is at the core of sustainable growth for Unilever. To continue to be successful we strongly believe that we need to collaborate with the very best partners if we are to access new ideas and technologies and create superior products. We are confident that our partnership with the University of Nottingham will enable us to drive bigger, faster innovation to underpin the growth ambitions of Unilever.

“The University of Nottingham is world class with an international reputation for the quality of its research. This partnership makes strategic sense: The University is close to the Unilever research hubs in the UK and importantly has an impressive geographic reach with campuses in China and Malaysia which is important for a company like Unilever where over half of our revenue is generated in emerging markets.”

Unilever has a large R&D operation in the UK supporting its global business and Jim Crilly leads the Strategic Science Group teams both in the UK and other global sites. Last year he was appointed as an Honorary Professor of Food Technology at The University of Nottingham’s School of Bioscience.

The start of a new phase in our relationship
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, commented: “We are delighted to be announcing this strategic partnership with Unilever. The framework agreement marks the start of a new phase in our relationship with a world class organisation, which will see us jointly developing new and innovative ideas in a wide variety of areas.

“Our partnership with Unilever will be of great benefit to both parties and we are all looking forward to undertaking some very exciting research with them over the coming years.”

Global, household brands
Unilever is known around the world for household brands such as Persil, Domestos, Lynx, Vaseline, PG Tips, Flora and many more. The company’s research work through its Discovery teams investigates materials, nutrition & health, sensory perception & behaviours, and advanced measurement & data modelling.

Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer at the University, added: “The framework partnership with Unilever is a great example of the way in which we like to build long term relationships with our industrial partners. We worked closely with Unilever to determine their requirements, and, after discussions with academics across the University, we were able to offer a defined package of research support in a wide range of sectors to meet the company’s specific needs.”

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For more information about this press release, contact Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, University of Nottingham. Tel: 0115 82 32184, or email

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Photo shows, left to right: Professor Jim Crilly, Head of Unilever’s Strategic Science Group and Professor David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor of The University of Nottingham.


For more details about the University’s work with Unilever, contact Lucy Davies, Senior Executive (Food and Drink), Business Engagement and Innovation Services. e: Tel: 0115 846 7936

Nick King – Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services
Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2184
Location: University of Nottingham Innovation Park

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