VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A., Bühler and Givaudan all joined in the Feb. 4 launch of the Future Food Initiative, a research program between Swiss universities and industrial partners. The initiative encourages food and nutrition research in areas relevant to consumer trends and sustainability.

ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) also belong to the initiative. A donation of 4.1 million Swiss francs ($4.1 million) from the industrial partners funded the initiative. Initial research projects will focus on plant-based nutrition and ancient plant varieties. A postdoctoral fellowship program will promote young scientists.

“As one of the initiators of this important Swiss research initiative, we reaffirm our commitment to further strengthen the unique Swiss research ecosystem for food and nutrition research,” said Stefan Palzer, chief technology officer for Vevey-based Nestle.

Stefan Scheiber, chief executive officer of the Bühler Group, Uzwil, Switzerland, added, “We are stepping up as an industry to address challenges in the food value chain. Bühler’s ambition is to create innovative and sustainable solutions, partnering with leading research institutes, industrial partners and promising start-ups in the world of food.”

Givaudan, Vernier, Switzerland, develops tastes and scents and collaborates with food, beverage, consumer products and fragrance partners.

“As the leader in our industry, we have a responsibility to contribute to improving the sustainability of the food value chain,” said Gilles Andrier, c.e.o. of Givaudan. “It is only through collaborations such as this, bringing together industry, academia and the brightest and best young scientists, that we will be able to address the future challenges of our food systems."