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AkzoNobel invests $13.3m in UK innovation hub

More than 100 of the coatings industry’s leading scientists are being brought together by AkzoNobel in a new $13.3 million research and innovation hub which could revolutionise the company’s portfolio.

Located in Felling in the UK, 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. 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 hub will also offer a testing and simulation facility, enabling tests to be carried out in conditions experienced in the world’s most extreme environments.

“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, added: “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.”

The facility is expected to be operational at the end of 2018.

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