Nestlé launches innovation hub to support start-up businesses scale their solutions

AFRICA – Nestlé has partnered with COOi Studios to launch a ground-breaking, open-innovation platform dubbed Nestlé Hatcher, aimed to solve some of the current business challenges across the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

COOi Studios is an Innovation lab that helps enterprises rapidly move from problem to a tested solution by using design thinking methods.

The platform encourages the application of emerging technologies; artifical intelligence, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and internet of things to validate an idea.

According to Nestle, the newly launched platform will offer innovators and start-up businesses an opportunity to work with the food manufacturing company to identify sustainable and scalable solutions that will help to accelerate the innovation of products and services in order to meet local consumer needs.

“Innovation, business adaptability and strategic partnerships remain some of the bedrocks of our business, particularly during today’s challenging business environment.

“The Nestlé Hatcher innovation programme is part of our research and development efforts to accelerate the innovation of products and services that meet local consumer needs whilst collaborating with various stakeholders,” Bruno Olierhoek, Chairman and Managing Director of Nestlé ESAR said.

Outlining the Nestlé Hatcher application process and how to get involved, João Barreto, Innovation Project Lead for Nestlé ESAR stated that Nestlé has developed the Nestlé Hatcher website where different business challenges will be published.

“These business challenges will include detailed briefs on what type of solution we are looking for, as well as any pertinent application criteria,” highlighted Barreto.

All applications will be reviewed and the finalist will proceed to pilot their proposed solution, with assistance from Nestlé which includes mentorship, business, technology support and industry expertise.

“Innovation, business adaptability and strategic partnerships remain some of the bedrocks of our business, particularly during today’s challenging business environment.”

Bruno Olierhoek – Chairman and Managing Director of Nestlé ESAR

Meanwhile in South Africa, the food giant has announced that its instant chicory and coffee extract, NESCAFÉ RICOFFY, now uses coffee beans that are 100% responsibly sourced.

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Nestlé is committed to implementing responsible sourcing practices and continuously improving its coffee supply chain.

This commitment is brought to life by understanding that the heart of good food is the quality of the ingredients, the people who produce them and the soils and ecosystems in which they are grown.

“We are extremely proud that Nestlé knows where our ingredients come from and that they are produced in a way that minimizes negative impact and makes a positive contribution to individuals, communities and the planet” Says Nicole Roos, Business Executive Officer, Coffee & Beverages at Nestlé, South Africa.

The announcement forms part of Nestlé South Africa’s recently launched RE (RETHINK, REDUCE AND REPURPOSE) sustainability initiative.

RE is aimed at reinforcing all its sustainability initiatives, strategies and resources to help mitigate sustainability challenges and strengthen its contribution to a waste-free future.

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