Procter & Gamble

P&G and the University have a longstanding partnership, with more than 20 joint research projects currently under way. Our strategic agreement will more thoroughly integrate the two organisations’ planning and operations, harnessing academic research to develop new high-tech products.

  • within P&G a dedicated Connect+Develop Board identifies the potential academic partners for key projects, while university researchers also are encouraged to approach P&G with ideas.
  • P&G’s joint projects with Leeds include more than a dozen PhD and post-doctoral projects, but the partnership also gives the company broader access to expertise across the University.
  • an innovative P&G Simulation Centre, based on the University’s campus, recruits final-year PhD students from a variety of disciplines to work on 20 hours a week, six-month contracts on projects for business units across the company. Students are recruited because they have relevant expertise to a project and are often not working with P&G in their full-time research.

Under the strategic agreement, P&G and the University will identify strategic research themes across a wide range of academic disciplines including engineering, maths and physics, design, computing, chemistry, psychology, business and the arts.

Many of the joint projects are aimed at improving production techniques as much as developing new products. In the Faculty of Engineering’s Simulation Centre, the team is able to model processing equipment to predict how changes in processing conditions impact product quality, which can provide significant cost savings in re-engineering or reformulation.

The development of a 'new experimental apparatus for powder measurement' is aiding P&G’s home care business (dishwasher tablets) to assess the caking propensity of powders more rapidly. Other projects are having an impact on the wider household products industry. For example, work done at Institute of Particle Science & Engineering (IPSE) at Leeds relating to enzyme dust formation has led to new recommendations for hygiene and worker safety, something the world’s largest detergent enzyme suppliers and users are currently considering for adoption.

Future plans
The University will develop capacity to meet long-term P&G priorities and is drawing up a five-year plan including targets linking the work done at Leeds to the value of the company’s commercial products. The company will encourage all relevant business units to use the University’s expertise in the strategic areas.