The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley initiative aims to address food and nutrition challenges using science and technology, whilst strengthening the region’s expertise in nutrition, nutrigenomics, and alternative proteins amongst others.
“Switzerland is home to a very unique innovation ecosystem for food and nutrition,” says Nestlé’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Stefan Palzer.
“Together we can more effectively address global challenges such as delicious, nutritious and affordable nutrition for all, sustainable packaging and mitigation of climate change.”
The food giants join The Swiss Canton of Vaud, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL Group) as partners of this enterprise.
It is hoped that such issues can be tackled from agriculture to waste and to the development of innovative products to promote healthy, sustainable diets.
Forging tomorrow’s industry
“The EHL Group has the responsibility to lead the way in a field that impacts everyone’s daily life around the world,” says CEO Michel Rochat.
“This new center of excellence will be driven by shared values and will enhance bridging economic actors and academic institutions, that will forge, together, tomorrow’s industry."
The food giant’s interest in start-ups and innovation is well known with a number of research initiatives formed that seeks to address health-related issues from a nutritional point of view.
At the start of this year, Nestlé acquired a new food fortification technology developed by researchers in New Zealand.
The technology, Ferri Pro is a novel protein-iron complex that uses food-grade materials and a unique processing method to fortify certain foods without negatively affecting product quality.
The firm also announced the opening of a new global research centre in Ireland to focus on developing innovations in milk-based maternal and infant nutrition products for the global market.
The Limerick-based €27m manufacturing facility marks the culmination of a three-year building project in which forty research staff are now employed at the research facility.
Nestlé’s focus on cutting edge science saw the company team up with Nuritas in an effort to identify bioactive peptide compounds from food sources using elements of artificial intelligence, deep learning, nutrition and personalised nutrition.
Developing and reinforcing innovation
Speaking about the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley initiative, Philippe Leuba, state councillor for the Canton of Vaud says the new initiative will “accelerate further the collaborations between all the players already present, and it will actually help to develop and reinforce innovation in the area of nutrition”.
Martin Vetterli, EPFL president adds, "We look forward to collaborating in the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley to further strengthen research and innovation in an area that is of key importance to Switzerland”.
The official launch of the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley is expected to take place at the World Economic Forum in Davos (House of Switzerland) scheduled for 23 January 2020.