ISELIN, New Jersey, February 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ansell, a global leader in protection solutions, announces that the recently constructed 16,000 square foot state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) facility in the Biyagama Export Zone outside Colombo, Sri Lanka is now fully operational. The Sri Lanka R&D center is the fourth center of excellence Ansell has installed-adding to its existing Malaysia, Mexico and North America-based centers. The investment in additional R&D resources and the decision to create and co-locate its R&D centers with the Ansell manufacturing structure underline the company's commitment to accelerate innovation and to faster serve the emerging unmet needs of customers worldwide. "Ansell has a long track record of manufacturing high quality industrial and medical products in Sri Lanka, and new product development will now complement manufacturing and expand our presence in the region," said Magnus Nicolin, Managing Director and CEO of Ansell Limited, "This is a measure of the confidence in and commitment of Ansell to the talent and future of Sri Lanka." In total, 30 science and technology specialists have been recruited, bringing along the latest technology and knowledge on both the material side as well as the manufacturing processes side. "With over two decades in Sri Lanka and over 2000 employees, Ansell has been a key player in Sri Lanka's export industry for a very long time," said Sujatha Weerakoon Director General of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board. "I am confident that the new R&D Center will greatly help further establish the role of Ansell as a local business leader while also benefitting the national economy." BOI Chairman/Director General Dr Lakshman Jayaweera said: "I am very pleased that a distinguished Australian company such as Ansell, which has been a long-standing investor under the BOI, has opened an R&D facility in Sri Lanka. Research and Development is an essential component in any enterprise's production process and can influence decisions to invest in a country. Furthermore, investments that develop innovation sector such as Ansell's new R & D facility are also in line with the strategic plan of the Government to transform Sri Lanka into a Knowledge Hub." Ansell product leadership is a result of ongoing investment to deliver new market leading innovative technologies to serve customer demand for high-quality products that seamlessly combine safety with comfort.