The new £9 million (€14.1m) UCB Films research and development centre was officially opened by the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
The 5,500 metre square centre, adjacent to the company's production site at Wigton in the UK, reinforces UCB Films' strategy of targeted innovation. The company said that the facility will enable it to bring new developments to global markets more quickly and to expand its work in new product development, product enhancement, validation of emerging technologies and raw material qualification.
Believed to be one of the most advanced in the industry, the centre brings together a wide range of R&D disciplines and has extensive facilities covering material science, chemical and physical disciplines.
Opening the new centre, the Prime Minister said: "The only way you can compete today is through a massive investment in research and development.
"To have this as the global research and development centre for UCB Films business is a tribute, above all else, to the strength, commitment and dedication of people such as yourselves."
In recent years UCB Films' extensive R&D resources have helped the company to develop a number of innovative products including polymeric substrates for bank notes and security products, pressure-sensitive labels, tobacco overwrap and speciality packaging.