• Press Release

February 7, 2022

Underwriters Laboratories Announces $1.8 Billion Commitment to Safety Science Research

Infused with new funding, two distinct nonprofit organizations will help solve the world’s biggest safety challenges

Northbrook, Ill. – Feb. 7, 2022 – The nonprofit organization Underwriters Laboratories Inc. today announced it is committing $1.8 billion to address increasingly complex public safety risks and strengthen the impact of its safety science mission.

With this commitment, Underwriters Laboratories will dramatically expand the scale and scope of research into emerging safety risks while launching a new, second nonprofit organization to advance standards development and public advocacy activities for the enterprise.

“This new financial commitment into safety research allows Underwriters Laboratories to build upon our 128-year legacy of public service and make even greater contributions to global safety science,” said James M. Shannon, board chair. “As humans face new and more frequent safety threats, society needs our leadership more than ever. We are proud that, through this major commitment, we are moving forward to accelerate safety science discoveries and inform public policy and behaviors that will advance the public good around the world.”

The source of the investment is special dividends issued by Underwriters Laboratories’ for-profit subsidiary, UL Inc. With this investment, the existing Underwriters Laboratories Research organization will expand its focus on scientific discovery across a broad range of critical fields – from fire safety to human environmental exposure to electrochemical battery safety. The Research organization will also marshal greater resources to scan for, assess and address emerging human safety risks in areas such as autonomous systems and artificial intelligence. It intends to fulfill this mission by growing the organization’s world-class research faculty and facilities.

The new Underwriters Laboratories Standards and Engagement organization will serve as a critical facilitator of public-private partnerships around the world. This nonprofit will translate knowledge gained from safety science into practical and measurable standards and policies, building upon decades of standards development leadership. The Standards and Engagement organization will drive safety advocacy campaigns and related coalition-building activities focused on improving public safety.

UL Inc. will continue operating its global testing, inspection, certification and advisory businesses, helping further the shared mission of all three UL organizations to advance public safety.

Terrence R. Brady will continue to serve as president, chief executive officer and trustee of the Research organization and will chair the board of the Standards and Engagement organization. An executive director, who will oversee the day-to-day management of the Standards and Engagement organization, will be named at a later date.

“As we look at how people live and work today, we recognize that technological change has accelerated, and safety threats are outpacing even that rapid change,” Brady said. “With our major funding and refocused approach, we are well positioned to address the world’s emerging safety challenges, advance research to uncover new approaches to safety and advocate for the adoption of new science-based standards. The announcements we are making today allow our organizations the opportunity to focus on distinct aspects of our mission.”

“UL Inc. is pleased that these dividends enable our nonprofit parent organizations to expand their respective safety science research and standards development activities,” said Jennifer Scanlon, president and chief executive officer of UL Inc. “Being able to provide this funding into our nonprofit affiliates demonstrates UL Inc.’s commitment to our mission of working for a safer world every day through applied science.”

For more information, visit UL.org.

About the Underwriters Laboratories Research Organization

The Research organization is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through scientific discovery. With best-in-class experts, we are the world’s premier research organization focused on safety science analysis. We conduct rigorous independent research, analyze safety data and explore at the edges of technology to be the first to uncover and act on emerging risks to human safety.

About the Underwriters Laboratories Standards and Engagement Organization

The Standards and Engagement organization is a nonprofit advocacy organization that translates data from safety science into practical, action-oriented standards. We convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through public outreach activities and advocate for standards and regulations that result in positive safety changes.

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Steven Field
(202) 819-9031