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Dr Ian Howell

HomeCare R&D Director


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I have worked for Unilever for 28 years, across the full breadth of the Home and Personal Care business. I have delivered new science, new technology, new patented inventions, and provided detailed technical advice and support for late-stage product development projects. I am an experienced R&D leader able to integrate and develop capabilities in devices, product appraisal, consumer science, physical & chemical sciences, measurement science, marketing, safety, regulatory, patents and Open Innovation with academics, business & government, for successful delivery. My focus is on technology delivery from brilliant science. I am passionate about the development of new R&D ways of working that support this, with a focus on the use of new tools such as computer modelling/informatics, automation and the development of enabling partnerships across academia, industry and government.   My current role in Unilever is that of HomeCare R&D Director with responsibility for building and delivering Unilever’s Home Care disruptive materials program. This programme will transform Unilever’s environmental footprint with products based on non-virgin petrochemical derived materials that are fully biodegradable.   I am currently a member of the RSC Formulation Science Technology Group, Society of the Chemical Industry Formulation Forum, and a member of the Chemistry Council Innovation group, which has contributed to the £1Bn UK Sector Deal proposal (, chairing the Sustainable Materials for Consumer Products subgroup.