It is part of Nestlé’s global R+D Accelerator network, launched in 2019, which provides a unique platform for startups, students and Nestlé intrapreneurs to speedily bring highly differentiated innovations to the market.
The internal and external teams have full access to Nestlé’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and unmatched science, technology and business expertise. Using early trends, differentiating technologies and scientific discoveries as sources of inspiration, the teams develop innovative product solutions in a six-month immersive ‘idea to shop’ program.
They can consult with Nestlé’s R&D experts from around the world such as food technologists, nutritionists, regulatory and food safety experts, designers and packaging experts. Each team also receives hands-on support from dedicated innovation coaches and mentoring from Nestlé’s senior management.
“We give internal and external entrepreneurs full access to all the expertise and infrastructure they need to translate their idea into a product – from analytical labs, experimental kitchens, to prototyping and production facilities – and we help them test their innovations in real-market conditions,” says Tom Wagner, Head of the Nestlé R+D Accelerator program.
Today, Nestlé’s global R+D Accelerator network consists of 12 sites in eight different countries. Each Accelerator is located at a Nestlé R&D site and focuses on a specific product category or region. For example, Nestlé has Accelerators at its R&D centers for dairy, nutrition, coffee, confectionery or food products. Regional Accelerators in China, India, U.S., ASEAN and Sub-Saharan Africa work with local start-ups and students to develop innovations relevant to their regions.
The newly inaugurated site that is embedded at Nestlé’s research facilities in Lausanne accelerates the translation of fundamental science into cross-category innovations. It is the industry’s largest Accelerator, covering 4,000 m2 with a variety of co-working stations, prototyping kitchens and mini-production facilities.
Stefan Palzer, Nestlé Chief Technology Officer, says: “At our R+D Accelerators we combine the creativity and entrepreneurship of students, start-ups and intrapreneurs with Nestlé’s extensive scientific and technological expertise. The initiative creates learning opportunities for both internal and external talents, builds competencies and fosters an entrepreneurial culture across our sites. It is great to see the passion and excitement of the teams as they go from an idea to a test launch in just a few months, overcoming many different challenges along the way!”
Since 2019, 165 participants have participated in the R+D Accelerator program and almost 80 products have been tested in 18 countries.
For example, one of the R&D Accelerator’s team recently launched a product building on Nestlé proprietary research identifying new natural bioactive ingredients that work at the cellular level to reduce physical fatigue. The team’s scientists have shown that the combination of micronutrients with a natural olive extract supports muscular energy and allows the body to use its full potential without actually adding calories to the muscle. The product is initially available in Italy as part of a limited shop test.
The R&D Accelerator has also launched a nutritional solution called ‘motive.e & me’ to address motivation. The product contains a combination of selected vitamins and the supplement form of a naturally occurring amino acid to promote the production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant produced by the body scientifically proven to be associated with motivation control and energy production. It is sold in France as a food supplement, in selected pharmacies, specialised shops, and online platforms.