May 20, 2015  Düsseldorf / Germany

Focus on research and innovation

Close to customers and markets

Innovation is a key component of Henkel’s corporate strategy. In 2014 alone, Henkel put 410 million euros toward research and development. This has allowed Henkel to steadily increase its rate of innovation, led by the contributions of Henkel’s research and development centers worldwide.

Henkel opened new research centers worldwide in order to more closely link the innovation process and the emerging markets. There are already research centers in India, South Africa, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, with more to follow. Researchers and scientists in the regional research centers work on developing customer specific solutions and innovations tailored the unique needs of each region. This way, Henkel can deliver the solutions that customers need, where they need them.

Three researchers in the Innovation Center in Dubai.

The R&D center in Dubai.

Lindiwe Radebe, from Schwarzkopf South Africa, is doing a model’s make-up

R&D center in South Africa.

The technical center in Seoul, South Korea

Technical Center in Seoul, South Korea.

The Laundry and Home Care business unit developed a product in Dubai specifically for the Arab markets – the liquid detergent Persil Black Oud. The product features a first-time combination of the advanced Persil Black formula and the unique fragrance of oud, a scent typical of the Arab perfume tradition. The product helped Henkel markedly strengthen its leadership position in the region. The innovative product was developed in the Dubai innovation center set up in 2013.

The growing importance of the emerging markets has also influenced the R&D strategy of the Beauty Care business unit. In 2014, the research and development center in Shanghai, China, was strengthened, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, a research center has been developing products specifically tailored to afro-textured hair since 2013. For example, Schwarzkopf Smooth ʼN Shine, a new range of hair care products which includes innovative hair smoothing products, was developed specifically in response to the conditioning needs of afro-textured hair.

The Adhesive Technologies business unit provides its expertise and solutions locally through global technology centers in direct proximity to its customers. In early 2014, it opened a technology center in Seoul, South Korea, to focus on the new materials and processes needed by the producers of mobile devices and display screens. Experts have developed a new generation of optically-transparent liquid adhesives for the fast-growing flat screen market. Combined expertise in product development, processes, and technology allow customers to test new product concepts quickly and efficiently.