Leading mineral processing firm Kilwaughter Minerals Limited has grown its Research and Development team by 50% as part of a long term £3.4m strategic investment in innovation.

This growth includes the recent recruitment of three further PhD scientists, building a foundation on which further investment will be realised over the coming months and years.

The new roles follow unprecedented demand for Kilwaughter products, including colour renders, external wall insulation systems and soil health conditioning minerals as the economy rebounds following the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Dr. Ross Savage, Head of R&D at Kilwaughter Minerals said:

“Boosting innovation and increasing investment at our R&D centre is core to meeting the sustained demand we are experiencing as well as futureproofing the business to service the evolving needs of our customers.

“Having established a strong reputation for engineering high performance products, our focus is now on developing new technologies and using these to drive product excellence and deliver new levels of performance and efficiencies to our industries.”

A recent report by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) estimated R&D investment in Northern Ireland was more than £881.4m last year, an annual increase of 11%, and that is expected to be matched if not exceeded when new figures are released this year.

Gary Wilmot, Chief Executive, Kilwaughter Minerals, added:

“We have been building our customer insight to allow us to confidently deepen our investment in new technologies and new products.

“We are creating a culture that puts high value on ideas and creativity and I’m confident that we have an exciting future ahead of us.”

Summarising the key objective of the R&D investment, Ross concluded:

“For us to remain at the forefront of our market segments we need to be continually enhancing our existing product lines and spearheading the development of next generation solutions.

“That is exactly what we are going to do.”