The company, which has its global headquarters and most of its R&D operations in the US, reported overall global sales of US$36.6 bn earnings in full year 2006. By establishing the new R&D centre on the continent, it says it will be better positioned to work more closely with its European customers. ADM has its headquarters for refined oils in Germany. "The centre will be an important addition to ADM's existing global R&D capabilities an underlines the company's commitment to meeting modern customer demands and envisioning tomorrow's needs for innovative oils and fats," said ADM. The new centre will be managed by Phil Hogan, who has recently been appointed R&D director, global oils and fats. His previous role was as director, global fats and oils research. ADM has other European facilities targeting the fats and oils sector, including an existing centre in Hamburg known as the ADM Noblee Technical Centre which is concerned with "the latest technical solutions and guidance on oils and fats systems for a wide range of applications - chocolate confectionery, bakery products, savoury snacks, margarine, dairy alternatives and nutritional products," according the ADM's website. A spokesperson told FoodNavigator.com: "The new R&D centre compliments the existing facility whilst providing significant investment in pilot plant, laboratory equipment and people." They did not give details of the level of financial investment it represents, nor when the new centre will be operational. ADM also has a Quality and Development centre in Belvedere, UK, which supports the Pura Foods oils and fats business. Its technical group based in Arras, France, operates advanced pilot plant systems and analytical equipment to propose tailor-made products to meet a customer's individual functionality, nutrition and purity needs. The new Hamburg centre is also expected to expand ADM's position in the agricultural processing value chain. Moreover Mark Zenuk, vice president and managing director, European and Asia operations, said: "Through a combination of both existing process improvements and the development of new products and technologies, this facility will further enhance our global strategy of being a leader in the field of bio-energy."