SWITZERLAND – Nestle has launched a new accelerator with a goal to utilize innovative technologies and systems to bring new products to consumers around the globe.
Called Nestle R&D Accelerator, the program seeks to bring together expertise in food and nutrition and speed up innovation to keep up with changing consumer trends.
The accelerator will be based in Lausanne, Switzerland, bringing together Nestlé scientists, students and start-ups to advance science and technology as it strives to maintain its position as the food industry leader in nutrition, health and wellness.
The experts will have access to Nestle’s infrastructure including shared labs, kitchens, bench-scale and pilot-scale equipment.
The first teams to work under the program have been selected and the accelerator will be operational by the end of 2019.
“We have taken a number of steps to accelerate innovation, including our enhanced prototyping capabilities and the funding of fast-track projects,” said Stefan Palzer, CTO of Nestlé S.A.
“With the Nestlé R&D Accelerator and its proximity to our R&D and business teams, we will bring open innovation to a new level.
“Combining our internal expertise and the deep knowledge of our academic and industrial partners with the external entrepreneurial creativity is a unique approach and will create an innovation power-house.
“It will accelerate the translation of innovative ideas and concepts into tangible prototypes and products.”
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.
It joins the company’s other innovation initiatives like Nestlé’s R&D organization, leading academic institutions such as the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and Zurich (ETHZ) and the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL).
Speaking on the investment, Grégoire Junod, Mayor of Lausanne, said: “Nestlé’s research center is a substantial plus for Lausanne, as it creates value in terms of economy and research, in particular by collaborating with the academic institutions of our region.
“This new accelerator further strengthens the links between nutrition, health or sport – other strong local assets and important focus areas of Lausanne.”
Nestle boasts of the world’s largest private food and nutrition R&D organization, involving about 4,200 people on 23 sites around the world.
To stay ahead of competition, Nestle last year announced it was merging its Nestle Research Center and Nestle Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) into one organization called Nestle Research.
The company recently inaugurated a new Research & Development center (R&D) in Beijing, China to accelerate trend-based innovation in Asia.