AkzoNobel opened a new, dedicated polymer research laboratory facility in Felling, UK, continuing to build on its growth ambitions in research, development and innovation. The new facility is located in Felling, Gateshead, in the northeast of England, a principal manufacturing and research and development site of AkzoNobel’s powder coatings business and marine and protective coatings business. The newly-dedicated building houses a polymer laboratory devoted to the development of novel polymers and processing technologies for AkzoNobel Powder Coatings’ Interpon and Resicoat brands, as well as a powder application line and two of the company’s Expert Capability Groups (ECGs). AkzoNobel’s ECGs are internal centers of excellence in the fields of science and technology that are of critical importance to the various businesses throughout the company. The ECGs work in close partnership with the business units on key programs, performing the research and development necessary for scientific breakthroughs that will drive product innovation. AkzoNobel employs nearly 4,000 people in the UK across 14 operational facilities and over 200 retail outlets. In 2010, the UK businesses brought in €798 million in revenue. AkzoNobel spent €334 million (23 percent of sales) on RD&I last year; of the 3600 global RD&I employees, 11 percent are UK-based.