VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A. is launching the Nestle R.&D. Accelerator in Lausanne, Switzerland, bringing together company scientists, students and start-ups to boost innovation and speed to market. Internal, external and mixed teams will be eligible to use the accelerator with access to Nestle’s research and development expertise and infrastructure, including shared labs, kitchens and bench-scale and pilot-scale equipment.
Located at Nestle Research, the company’s fundamental research entity with approximately 800 employees in Lausanne, the accelerator will be operational by the end of the year. The first teams have been selected to use the accelerator over a defined period of time.
“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, chief technology officer of Nestle S.A. “With the Nestle 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 powerhouse. It will accelerate the translation of innovative ideas and concepts into tangible prototypes and products.”
Nestle’s global R.&D. network includes approximately 4,200 people at 23 sites. About 60% of the company’s global R.&D. budget of 1.7 billion Swiss francs ($1.7 billion) is invested in Switzerland. Nestle Research is part of an innovation ecosystem that includes academic institutions such as the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne and Zurich and the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne, as well as a broad range of innovation partners, suppliers and start-ups.
“Nestle’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,” said Grégoire Junod, mayor of Lausanne. “This new accelerator further strengthens the links between nutrition, health or sport — other strong local assets and important focus areas of Lausanne.”