RB open Hull innovation centre as part of £200m investment

RB open Hull innovation centre as part of £200m investment
RB's Science and Innovation Centre in Hull (credit: Karl Andre Photography)

RB has today (3 Dec) opened its state-of-the-art Science and Innovation Centre (S&I Centre) in Hull as part of an ongoing £200 million investment programme in the city.

Alongside the new centre, RB is committing £95 million to significantly upgrade the manufacturing facilities on the Hull site which employs 1,400.

One of six major RB R&D facilities worldwide, the new UK S&I Centre will be the global technical innovation hub for household name consumer health products such as Nurofen and Strepsils.

The decision to locate the new Centre in the UK at the Hull site followed a comprehensive review which considered other centres across the globe.

“Despite the current macro-economic uncertainty in the UK, it is our firm belief that our new centre will help the country further develop its scientific talent and R&D credentials,” said RB CEO Laxman Narasimhan.

Launching its new report on innovation at RB’s S&I Centre in Hull today, Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI, said: “RB’s decision to build this centre in the Humber region is testament to how innovative R&D can thrive in the regions.

“However, despite numerous success stories such as RB, there remains a clear innovation investment imbalance between London and the South East and the rest of the UK.

“As we look beyond Brexit, the challenge for government and business is to create the best conditions for innovation to prosper in every region of the UK.”

As well as today’s significant site investment, RB is partnering with Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull to offer a brand-new MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development.

The innovative MSc programme will provide students with critical insights into the entire development journey of a clinical drug from laboratory to consumers’ homes. Students will have unique access to RB’s state-of-the-art healthcare S&I Centre in Hull, and RB employees will deliver lectures and provide mentoring.

R&D teams for seven of RB’s biggest brands are based in Hull, while more than 300 million consumer units, comprising 1,000 different products, including Nurofen, Lemsip, Disprin, Bonjela, Dettol and E45, are manufactured at its city site each year. Over half of the company’s Hull-based employees work in science, and almost half of the global R&D workforce is based in Hull.

The S&I Centre is RB’s largest healthcare development centre in the world and the biggest single site investment in the company’s history.