L’Oréal Inaugurates Its Global Hair Research Centre Research & Innovation

Exclusively dedicated to hair, L’Oréal’s Research Centre is the head of a network of six regional centres around the world. The new Centre uses cutting-edge automation and modelling tools across collaborative platforms conducive to innovation.

Clichy, 28 March 2012 - To meet consumers' highly diverse needs with regards to the beauty of their hair, L'Oreal announced today the inauguration of its Global Hair Research Centre located in Paris Saint-Ouen. The Centre's Research & Innovation programmes (R&I) is exclusively dedicated to the haircare profession which includes hair colouring, hair care (shampoos, conditioners), styling, (sprays, gels, waxes) and perms, smoothing or straightening.

A 100-million-euro investment

One of the largest investments in L'Oreal's R&I history, the 25,000m² Centre hosts 500 employees. These include chemists, physico-chemists, opticians, materials scientists, metrologists, rheologists, computer scientists and statisticians. With its architecture and amenities designed to foster collaborative spaces conducive to the sharing and transfer of skills, the Research Centre offers these specialists the methods and tools of the future in a pleasant and high-quality environment.

At the technological forefront: automation, modelling and sensory evaluation

To support the innovation flow, ambitious and effective tools allow researchers to explore more broadly the endless possibilities offered by the science of formulation and evaluation. For example, robots mimic product applications on hair or prepare time-saving formulae. Thus to date the automatic weighing robot has weighed nearly one million colouring samples for approximately 100,000 formulae that require testing.

Original numerical modelling tools using already acquired data, evaluate virtual formulae so that only those most likely to meet consumer needs are to be developed.

Besides their scientifically proven technical efficacy, products also generate emotions. To measure the emotional components of product performance, this Research Centre has developed sensory evaluation expertise carried out by fifty expert technicians and established procedures which monitor consumers' actions and record their feelings.

All the information thus collected in this Global Centre and the six regional centres, is fed back into the hair innovation processes.

The head of a network of regional centres around the world

The Saint Ouen Research Centrer is the head of a global network of six R&I regional centres and the headquarters for the International Departments in hair colour, hair care and hair styling. These department heads define the innovation strategy for each type of hair treatment worldwide and manage the worldwide innovation portfolio. The six R&I regional centres are located in Japan, China, India, USA, Brazil and in Saint-Ouen for Europe.

The six regional hair centres also have a dual mission: interpreting the innovation strategies identified by the Saint Ouen Research Centre and tailoring them to the specific features of their markets as well as inventing new products that meet local consumers' needs. These local innovations may also be internationalised via a "reverse innovation" deployment process.

This Research Centre and the six regional centres thus contribute to the conquest of new sources of growth and as such to the Group's strategic target of gaining one billion new consumers. Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, said "The Saint Ouen research centre exemplifies our strategy which aims to make beauty universal based on a deep understanding of consumers' needs and aspirations, in order to offer products that match women's and men's different cultures, beauty routines and purchasing power. "

About L'Oreal

L’Oreal, the world’s leading cosmetics company, has catered to all forms of beauty in the world for over 100 years and has built an unrivalled portfolio of 27 international, diverse and complementary brands. With sales amounting to 20.3 billion euros in 2011, L’Oréal is present in 130 countries and employs 68,900 people. Regarding sustainable development, Corporate Knights, a Global Responsible Investment Network, has selected L'Oréal for its 2012 ranking of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. L'Oréal has received this distinction for the 5th consecutive year. www.loreal.com

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