Düsseldorf The consumer goods company Beiersdorf invests 60 million euros in the construction of a technology center. That shared the Dax-Group on Thursday. “Despite the crisis, we are relying on innovations,” said Stefan De Loecker, CEO of Beiersdorf, “with this we are strengthening our culture of innovation and significantly expanding our position as the world’s leading expert in skin care.” This is a strong signal.
Like many companies, the consumer goods company was going through a difficult year. In the first nine months of the year, group sales fell organically by around seven percent to 5.2 billion euros due to the effects of the corona crisis. The volume brand Nivea suffered a drop in sales, as did the premium brand La Prairie.
In the consumer goods industry, innovations are vital. The technology center should offer spaces for exchange and cooperation – both internally and externally. This includes universities, research institutions and start-ups, as well as customers and suppliers, said Beiersdorf.
“From the idea to the finished product, we will be able to include all areas in the development in the Technology Center: from new product formulas to new technologies and new packaging developments to completely new production processes and ideas for marketing,” explained De Loecker. This should enable new products to be developed, tested and made marketable faster than before.
The project is intended to strengthen innovation in the areas of personalization, digitization and sustainability – these are the company’s top topics. The hiring of new employees is not associated with the new technology center, said a Beiersdorf spokeswoman on request. Rather, it would be about relocating existing positions.
The group is investing more than half a billion euros in the “Beiersdorf Campus” at its home location in Hamburg-Elmsbüttel and in a new plant in Leipzig-Seehausen. The technology center will be built in Hamburg in the immediate vicinity of the new corporate headquarters and the Beiersdorf Manufacturing Hamburg GmbH production center. The new headquarters alone costs 250 million euros and offers 3,000 office and laboratory workplaces. These plans are now being expanded and the center will complete the campus by 2024.
Competitor too Henkel strengthens its innovative strength with the establishment of a new type of innovation center in Düsseldorf. The center, which is part of the high-turnover adhesives division of the Dax Group, has an investment of 130 million euros. Around 500 researchers and developers from the Adhesive Technologies division will move into the building on the factory premises in the south of Düsseldorf in the coming year.
In the development, transparency is now also placed on the customer. Gone are the days when scientists holed up behind laboratory doors. The two largest consumer goods groups in Germany apparently want to achieve this not least through their innovation centers.
More: Persil helps Henkel in the crisis – more sales in the quarter, less over the year.