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Unilever Framework Agreement

Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, and King’s College London have signed a Framework Agreement to formalise their long-term partnership

This strategic relationship will make King’s College London a key partner for Unilever’s research collaborations in a number of scientific fields.

Professor Ed Byrne, President and Principal of King’s said: 'King’s and Unilever have been collaborating on research projects for nearly 20 years – so I am absolutely delighted that we have now been able to formalise this relationship. Strategic alliances such as this are immensely important to King’s. Unilever will benefit by gaining intellectual insights from our world-leading academics and King’s will benefit from the commercial insight that can inform and direct our research in the future. This Framework Agreement marks the start of a new phase of our relationship with Unilever which will see us jointly developing new and innovative ideas. The Framework is a great example of the way in which King’s builds long-term relationships with our global commercial partners and we look forward to undertaking some exciting research projects with Unilever in the years to come.'

King’s joins a small number of strategic academic partners as Unilever works towards fulfilling its ambitions in growing the core business while reducing its environmental impact and increasing its social impact.

Peter Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Unilever Strategic Science Group added: 'At Unilever we believe that to continue to be successful, we need to collaborate with the very best partners to access new ideas creating sustainable and superior products. I am delighted that King’s College has become a strategic science partner, as it combines highly talented people with an excellent infrastructure with world-class capabilities. The College, with its history of leading scientific achievements and its future global partnership ambitions and our long history of collaboration makes it an obvious choice for Unilever'

Unilever has funded research at King’s with around £2 million since 2014 in a variety of areas, such as regenerative medicine, cardiovascular, nutrition and dentistry.  The now formalised relationship has the ambition to scale up in the future and potentially to cover other areas of activity.

The King’s champion for the Framework has been Dr Richard Siow, Senior Lecturer in the Cardiovascular Division, British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence. Dr Siow’s longstanding collaboration with Unilever’s Strategic Science Group has developed through joint BBSRC CASE studentships and an Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership award. He has subsequently undertaken a sabbatical period with Unilever, involving close interactions with senior scientists at Unilever’s global R&D Centres.

Notes to editors

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‘Framework Agreements’ are an efficient and effective way for King’s to work in partnership with external organisations and there are a number of other similar agreements currently in discussion in addition to those already up and running.  These kinds of agreements enable King’s to cultivate long-term relationships with our strategic partners whilst removing some of the operational barriers to working together on individual projects. 

Contact: Partnerships Manager Anna Thornton, Research Management & Innovation Directorate