DMV International to open innovation centre

Related tags Innovation

Dutch dairy ingredients firm DMV International is moving several of
its R&D and marketing staff to a new innovation centre to speed
up interactivity and product development time.

Scheduled to open in December this year, the centre will be located in the heart of 'food valley' in the Netherlands' Wageningen region and be funded by an €8 million investment from life sciences venture firm BioPartner. A further €2 million will come from DMV itself.

The company says the move is part of its strategy to focus on innovative ingredients, including new peptides currently under development.

"We've been quite successful where we are but we feel we've reached a plateau. To make the next step, we need to pull the key disciplines together,"​ said R&D director Dr David Clark. "It will shorten communications lines and offer the kind of environment were we can be more creative."

The food ingredients business at another Dutch firm, DSM, is also working on new peptides and last year announced a similar move to boost product development time, with a €12 million food research and product development centre.

The news underlines the increasing importance given to innovation, key to the health foods industry.

Dr Clark told that the move would lead to an increased number of patent applications - the firm has gained 12 patents over the last two years relating to food and nutritional products.

"We pinned our colours towards bioactive ingredients a good four to five years ago and made the explicit decision that this would be a growth area. We are therefore going to reap the benefits sooner than some of the companies that have followed in our steps,"​ Dr Clark added.

DMV​, which currently allocates 2.5 per cent of its €500 million turnover to R&D, received the NBJ Award for its cysteine peptide in 2003, and was also nominated for HiE awards for this product and its C12 peptide.

Further peptides will be launched this year, according to Dr Clark.

"It is well known that several peptides have biological activity,"​ he explained, adding that better know-how in this field has helped the emergence of a number of peptides in recent years.

"The separation technology applied to hydrolysates has seen improvement over recent years and there is also more knowledge about enzymes. But ultimately it is the consumer demand for healthy eating that is driving this trend."

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