Danone Plans to Strengthen R&D in The Netherlands New innovation Centre to Open in Utrecht Science Park in 2012

Danone intends to make a significant investment to strengthen its Research and Development presence and expertise in Specialised Nutrition (Baby Nutrition and Medical Nutrition) in The Netherlands. It plans to integrate its Dutch-based R&D activities in a new innovation centre in Utrecht. The opening of the new centre is planned for 2012.

Danone is an expert in scientific food research, and wants to build further on its record of innovation and leadership in this area. Most of its R&D activities in the area of Specialised Nutrition are already based in the Netherlands, in locations in Wageningen, Zoetermeer, Cuijk and Schiphol.

“The planned Danone innovation centre in Utrecht will create excellent opportunities for the growth of our business and employees”, Danone head of R&D Sven Thormahlen says. “We want to build a new innovation centre for Specialised Nutrition for the 21st century in Utrecht Science Park. This is a reflection of the quality of the current teams and our desire to attract international talent. The Utrecht location is close to our Baby and Medical business in Amsterdam and gives us the possibility to strengthen this relationship. Our investment will give Danone another world-class Research Centre, to join our existing facility in Palaiseau, near Paris.”

Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Maria van der Hoeven, congratulates Danone on the planned investment, saying that “Danone’s decision to move forward with this project shows that The Netherlands has a very competitive international offering for R&D and innovation. When it opens in 2012, the new innovation centre will be a very positive flagship for The Netherlands and the region. My Ministry and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) in particular take personal pride in guaranteeing our continued support to Danone in the run-up to 2012 and beyond.”

The project to open a new integrated centre for R&D in 2012 will mean the transfer of activities in Research and Development from the four existing Dutch sites. Danone will work closely with employee representatives and potentially affected staff in the Netherlands to finalise the scope of the project, and has committed to make personal plans to support and facilitate its employees in moving to the new facilities, when the time comes.

About Danone
Danone is a Fortune 500 Company and one of the most successful healthy food companies in the world. Its mission is to bring health through tasty, nutritious and affordable food and beverage products to as many people as possible. Fulfilling this mission is a major contributor to Danone's continuous fast growth. Danone with 160 plants and around 80,000 employees has a presence in all five continents and over 120 countries. In 2008, Danone recorded €15.2 billion sales. Danone enjoys leading positions on healthy food in four businesses: fresh dairy products (#1 worldwide), waters (#2 on the packaged water market), baby nutrition (#2 worldwide) and medical nutrition. Listed on Euronext in Paris, Danone is also ranked among the main index of social responsibility: Dow Jones Sustainability Index Stoxx and World, ASPI Eurozone and Ethibel Sustainability Index.

Danone's R&D skills are concentrated in Danone Research, a world-wide organisation operating out of 15 countrie and gathering more than 1100 people. It manages 500 scientific collaborations throughout the world.

Danone's R&D teams in the Netherlands develop new product concepts for baby nutrition and medical nutrition, amongst others for the Nutricia brand.

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