CHINA – Mengniu Dairy Company Limited, China’s leading dairy producer has opened the Mengniu Nutrition Institute in Beijing to strengthen the company’s research in dairy products and nutrition, reports China Daily.

The institute will enhance its collaboration with academics and research institutions to transfer scientific results into high-value products and more efficient services.

The dairy giant is banking on innovation to strengthen its grip in the global dairy market. Mengniu has partnered with various research centers and dairy companies across various markets.

Yu Weizu, VP of Mengniu R&D speaks during the founding of the Mengniu Nutrition Institute in Beijing. [Photo: China Daily]

In May this year, the Chinese Nutrition Society and Mengniu established the Healthy China Nutrition Alliance. The two have signed an agreement to establish an open platform for research on nutrition.

The company in collaboration with the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University have also established the Lactobacillus Joint Innovation Laboratory.

In addition, Mengniu has also established a professional nutrition research team with the China-Denmark Milk Technology Cooperation Center, along with the Mengniu Danone Research and Development Center.

Its research and development resource network covers more than 60 scientific research institutions worldwide.

During this years World Economic Forum, Mengniu announced a strategic cooperation pact with top Uruguayan dairy producer Conaprole, and the pair will cooperate in trading related dairy products in the years ahead.

“The cooperation with Conaprole is part of our goal to leverage international resources to better serve customers both in China and abroad,” Mengniu CEO Lu Minfang said.

“With this transformation, Mengniu is now eyeing the global market to produce dairy products that can rival top ones in the foreign markets.”

According to Lu, last year, the company invested a total of 160 million yuan ($23.3 million) in research and development, which was 20 percent more than that of the previous year.

The company is also making moves to further expand its global presence from the current over 10 countries and regions such as Southeast Asia and Oceania, with many markets participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Lu says that the BRI has offered the company unprecedented opportunities and it will be one of Mengnui key business focus in the years ahead.

Mengniu also has a presence in countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia Myanmar and recently offered to acquire Australia’s leading organic infant formula producer, Bellamy’s to facilitate expansion in the market.