Unilever and Liverpool University pair for £81 million materials hub
8 Oct 2018
President of the Royal Society and Nobel laureate Sir Venki Ramakrishnan has officially opened Liverpool University’s £81 million Materials Innovation Factory.
Set up in collaboration with Unilever, the venture combines materials chemistry with robotic and computer tech to develop products with “potential to address societal challenges”.
University authorities says the site will boast one of the world’s greatest concentrations of automation robots for the materials science sector in its 11,600m2 grounds.
In addition to academic researchers, it will also house scientists from Unilever’s Port Sunlight R&D centre.
The range of expertise here in Liverpool can make a big contribution to meeting those challenges and to driving economic growth
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President, Royal Society
Commenting at the opening ceremony Ramakrishnan, said:
“Whether it is human health, sustainability or a range of other areas, advanced materials offer tools by which we can tackle some of the big challenges we face on the global stage. The range of expertise here in Liverpool can make a big contribution to meeting those challenges and to driving economic growth.”
Liverpool vice chancellor Professor Dame Janet Beer added that the factory would boost the university’s established reputation for advanced materials research.
“The applications for our research in this area are truly exciting, with the potential to answer some of the greatest challenges facing the world today in fields such as sustainable energy, healthcare and manufacturing,” she explained.