Cadbury Adams, a US unit of UK-based soft drinks and confectionery giant Cadbury Schweppes, has announced that it has signed a 16-year lease for a new science and technology centre that will be built in Hanover Township, New Jersey, to support the company's confectionery innovation initiatives.

Construction of the multi-million dollar facility will begin next month, with completion scheduled for the second half of 2005.

The 148,000-square-foot facility will house laboratories where the company will develop new gum, mint, and sugar confectionery products. It also will include a pilot plant for new technology assessment and process development, a "sensory" area for taste testing, and laboratories for product development research.

"Moving into a state-of-the-art science and technology centre that gives us the opportunity to grow will go far in helping Cadbury Adams realise our goal of being the confectionery leader in the Americas," said Dr Barbara Raphael, senior vice president of science and technology at Cadbury Adams.