Swiss food giant Nestlé has teamed up with a number of local players to develop ‘a global innovation ecosystem on food and nutrition’.
The initiative, called the ‘Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley’, will be launched in January 2020. It aims to attract talent, start-ups and investment to the region.
According to Nestlé, Switzerland is home to a unique ecosystem in the area of food and nutrition, thanks to the county’s deeply rooted agricultural tradition and density of world leading companies and scientific institutions. It is also home to a large number of start-ups in areas such as food, nutrition, life sciences and robotics.
Nestlé CFO Stefan Palzer recently outlined the challenges and opportunities in today’s food space. These include plant-based nutrition, the continued growth of social media, the need for a solutions in biodegradble plastic, the importance of carbon footprint issue, the wider range of innovative products now available, the need for affordable healthy food options and the crucial role played by collaboration.
For this latest project, Nestlé has teamed up with the Swiss Canton of Vaud, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL Group).
The founders said the initiative will address major challenges of the future of food and nutrition using cutting-edge science and technology - from agriculture to waste, from innovative products to healthy, sustainable diets.
'This will help to develop and reinforce innovation in the area of nutrition'
“This new center of excellence will be driven by shared values and will enhance bridging economic actors and academic institutions, that will forge, together, tomorrow’s industry," said Michel Rochat, CEO EHL Group.
Philippe Leuba, State Councilor, Canton of Vaud: “This new initiative will accelerate further the collaborations between all the players already present, and it will actually help to develop and reinforce innovation in the area of nutrition.”
Stefan Palzer added: “Switzerland is home to a very unique innovation ecosystem for food and nutrition. Together we can more effectively address global challenges such as delicious, nutritious and affordable nutrition for all, sustainable packaging and mitigation of climate change.”
In April this year, Nestlé today announced the creation of the Nestlé R&D Accelerator based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The accelerator brings together Nestlé scientists, students and start-ups to advance science and technology with the objective to accelerate the development of innovative products and systems. The first teams have been selected and the accelerator will be operational by the end of 2019. They have access to Nestlé’s R&D expertise and infrastructure, including shared labs, kitchens, bench-scale and pilot-scale equipment.
The accelerator is part of Nestlé’s global R&D network and located at the company’s fundamental research entity Nestlé Research, which employs around 800 people in Lausanne.