Nestlé Unveils a New R&D Accelerator Program to Boost Product and Systems Innovation

Nestlé, a key player in the global Food & Beverage Industry recently created an accelerator program that aims to bring students, startup enterprises, and the company’s scientists together to develop innovative products and systems.

The first research team has already been selected, and the unit is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year.

Nestlé promised all selected teams (whether external, internal or mixed) will have full access to the company’s R&D expertise and infrastructure, including equipment, kitchens and shared labs.

“We have taken a number of steps to accelerate innovation, including out enhanced prototyping capabilities and the funding of fast track projects. 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,” said Stefan Palzer, Nestlé’s Chief Technology Officer.

“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 powerhouse. It will accelerate the translation of innovative ideas and concepts into tangible prototypes and products.”

Announced at the beginning of 2019, the R&D accelerator is part of Nestlé’s global R&D network and will be based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the same location as Nestlé’s R&D focused research center.

In fact, the company claims to have the largest private Food and Nutrition R&D organisation involving 23 sites and more than 4,200 individuals around the world.

According to Nestlé, Core to the accelerator teams’ work is user research, design thinking, prototyping and digital acceleration. This will help those who come up with concepts to refine their ideas before pitching them to executives for seed funding.

Part of the program’s contributing partners includes academic institutions like the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne and Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne.

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