Unilever, a British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company with headquarters in London, UK, is the largest producer of soap in the world. Its products, available in around 190 countries, include Lifebuoy, Dove, Sunsilk, Knorr, and Lux.
After Prado had told the interviewer how Unilever is using AI, data and HPC to reinvent how the company creates innovation — including the supply chain and digital twins for healthcare — the head of the multinational’s R&D anticipated quantum computing was going to help Unilever understand it better and know how best to prepare.
“I will talk [in my presentation] a little tomorrow about quantum computing, about foundational AI, about hyper-automation, about the metaverse,” said Prado. “Each of them individually has a role to play at slightly different time frames — but all these things combine. When you think about quantum and foundational AI models that can completely revolutionize how companies innovate, and how companies do science.”
Prado, who prior to Unilever was Vice President and Head of Philips Digital Innovation Accelerator, is a seasoned executive with a strong strategy and operational background, linking technology and business in the areas of digital innovation, transformation and entrepreneurship.
Preparing for the Inevitable
When the host asked Prado what we will be talking about a year from now, his answer was one that people working in quantum want to hear:
“I would hope that we will have already started on some early use cases in quantum. That we start understanding it better, and therefore, understanding better how we should prepare ourselves for it,” said Prado.
Already Unilever is busy working on this with a collaboration between a team of microbiologists and skin scientists at Unilever, along with quantum computing and AI experts at IBM Research and the Science Technology Facilities Council Hartree Centre, who have revealed that vitamin B3 could hold the key to unlocking a new generation of hygiene products that work by boosting the body’s natural defences.