FMCGs are creating innovation ecosystems to deliver healthy solutions to consumers
Chinese dairy company Yili Group recently joined the Open Innovation Forum (OIF) to collaborate with other food and agriculture companies at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), part of the UK’s University of Cambridge.
The Chinese-based dairy company also partnered with agri-foodtech accelerator StartLife in the Netherlands. This partnership will provide access to an established innovation ecosystem of agri-foodtech start-up and scale-up companies, while OIF will give Yili access to latest industry insights, tools and techniques in collaboration with industry experts and academics. With it the company hopes to solve future challenges faced by the industry by working with innovative agricultural and healthy food start-ups.
Managing director of Yili Innovation Centre Gerrit Smit said the centre’s aim was to help start-ups get success with the ultimate goal to bring new inventions to market. Through OIF’s platform for collaboration, food and beverage companies can combine internal thinking with external insights, ideas and paths to market.
Smit said that working with start-ups meant technologies and new ingredients are in the early stages of developments with much work ahead, including regulatory approvals, before launch to market. Yili invests significantly in start-ups, realising the route from idea to market often takes years.