The world changes more quickly and profoundly than we can sometimes imagine. Alongside its challenges, change creates extraordinary opportunities, sparking ingenuity and motivating people to move forward in an entirely different way.
UL Research Institutes — indeed, the whole UL enterprise — is a case in point. To better address urgent safety challenges related to today’s rapid pace of technological innovation, we made a historic $1.8 billion financial commitment in early 2022 to dramatically expand the scale and scope of our safety science work.
We also restructured, launching UL Standards & Engagement as a separate standards development and public safety advocacy organization to enable each part of the UL enterprise to focus on what it does best. Our enterprise now comprises three distinct entities that independently pursue our common mission of working for a safer, more sustainable world: UL Research Institutes, UL Standards & Engagement, and UL Solutions.
Within UL Research Institutes (ULRI), our centers of research excellence are growing and changing as well. Adhering to a global strategy that calls for investing in and expanding our talent, capacity, and scope, we have expanded both the research scope and physical presence of our Chemical Insights, Electrochemical Safety, and Fire Safety research institutes and established two new research centers — the Digital Safety Research Institute and the Materials Discovery Research Institute. We also have launched a new Office of Research Experiences and Education to cultivate the next generation of safety scientists through educational and research programs designed to engage students across the educational spectrum. Guiding our expansion is a new roster of leaders and scientists across our research centers who have joined us to advance our ambitious safety science mission.
We will continue to invest in our capabilities, engaging top minds across several disciplines to build a safer and more sustainable world in which everyone can thrive.
Our experts are focusing on three of the world’s grand challenges, which we’ll discuss at more length throughout this report — those of producing resilience for a sustainable future, protecting individual and societal health in the 21st century, and mitigating as well as understanding the risks that digital systems pose. With our deep safety science roots and partnerships across the global public safety community, we are well positioned to lead this work.
We realize that the challenges of today’s world cannot be resolved by a single organization. We need a global perspective to address today’s global issues effectively, and we welcome connections and collaborations with researchers from myriad disciplines and backgrounds. Our continued growth and success will be measured not just by the scientists, researchers, and professionals who join our ranks but also by something equally vital — our ability to incorporate new and diverse perspectives.
Together, we will work to harness the promise that new and changing technologies hold for a fuller, more productive future, transforming ourselves to accelerate discoveries that will weave safety science into innovation from the very start.
I am proud to be part of an organization that is uniquely suited to addressing this monumental task. And as you’ll read in this first annual progress report, we have considerable achievements to share.