SWITZERLAND – Swiss food manufacturing giant, Nestlé has inaugurated its largest R+D Accelerator yet in a bid to accelerate “the translation of fundamental science into cross-category innovations” with rapid speed to market.
The new center is embedded at Nestlé’s research facilities in Lausanne, Switzerland and covers 4,000 sq m with a variety of co-working stations, prototyping kitchens and mini-production facilities.
“The Accelerator here in Lausanne is the mothership of our Accelerator network, since we work across all categories and often our innovation is based on new scientific discoveries,” a Nestlé spokesperson said.
According to Nestlé, the new center can host up to ten teams simultaneously, where teams have access to a “sophisticated innovation ecosystem” in the area of food and nutrition.
The center is accessible to both internal and external teams which will have full access to Nestlé’s infrastructure and science, technology and business expertise.
Teams at the R+D accelerator can consult with Nestlé’s R&D experts from around the world such as food technologists, nutritionists, regulatory and food safety experts, designers and packaging experts.
Each team also receives hands-on support from dedicated innovation coaches and mentoring from Nestlé’s senior management.
Upon completion of the project and if there is a mutual interest in continuing the collaboration, Nestlé commits to enter into a new collaboration model with a participant or licensing IP or both, notes the spokesperson.
The new center is part of the company’s wider R+D Accelerator network launched in 2019 to bring highly differentiated innovations to the market quickly.
The accelerator program has seen the launch of products like Wunda, a pea-based milk alternative created and scaled by Nestlé intrapreneurs in just six months.
Nestlé’s global R+D Accelerator network consists of 12 sites in eight different countries. Each Accelerator is located at a Nestlé R&D site and focuses on a specific product category or region.
For example, Nestlé has Accelerators at its R&D centers for dairy, nutrition, coffee, confectionery, or other food products.
Regional Accelerators in China, India, the US, ASEAN and Sub-Saharan Africa work with local start-ups and students to develop innovations relevant to their regions.
In 2019, Nestle spurred R&D innovation with a start-up innovation challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Last year, the R&D Accelerator located at Nestlé’s R&D center in Konolfingen, Switzerland opened its doors with a special focus on plant-based innovation.
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