Global paint manufacturer opens £10.8m R&D campus in Gateshead

Manufacturing | North East
AkzoNobel Felling innovation campus
(L to R): R&D Section Manager, Andy Clark, with Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Jill Green, R&D Director of Marine and Protective Coatings, David Williams, and Engineering Manager, Gary Arkley

AkzoNobel has opened an ‘innovation campus’ at its site in Felling, Gateshead. The lab complex is designed for product-testing in simulations of the world’s most extreme environments. It will enable scientists to simulate high temperatures, fire, and extreme pressure, along with exposure to chemicals and corrosion. AkzoNobel develops products for the marine and oil and gas industries.

AkzoNobel employs 3,000 scientists in 70 laboratories around the world. The company plans for the £10.8m Gateshead campus to put the North East at the forefront of innovation in the world’s coatings industry. AkzoNobel Felling will become the home base of some of the company’s leading scientists and technical experts.

“As the birthplace of the International brand, we’re immensely proud of our Felling site, which has supplied products for some of the world’s most iconic buildings and structures,” says Jean-Michel Gauthier, managing director of the company’s Marine and Protective Coatings business.

“The new laboratories will enable our technical experts to partner more closely with our customers and deliver innovative products that meet the most demanding specifications in our industry.”

The complex was designed with sustainability in mind. Features include solar wall cladding, a sustainable urban drainage system, grey water recycling, photovoltaic panels, air compressor heat recovery, and a sedum “green roof”.

The new campus brings the total investment in the Felling site since 2011 to over £27 million. This follows a £100 million investment in its unit in Ashington in 2017.

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