Switzerland is a world reference in sustainable food and nutrition innovation.
A unique ecosystem has emerged from Geneva to Zurich, due to Switzerlands deeply rooted agricultural tradition, an unmatched density of world leading companies and scientific institutions as well as a large number of start-ups in areas such as food, nutrition, life sciences or robotics.
As a result of the intensive collaboration among local players, leading innovation platforms have emerged in the Lake Geneva region, including in the areas of precision farming, food chain 4.0, waste reduction and packaging, food processing and nutrition.
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company and is present in 189 countries around the world. The Headquarters are based in the Swiss town of Vevey.
Nestlé offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives with more than 2’000 brands range from global icons like Nescafé and Nespresso to local favourites like Ninho. Nestlé has the world’s largest private food and nutrition R&D organization, involving about 4,200 people on 23 locations around the world. Switzerland remains of central importance for Nestlé, with around 60% of its global R&D budget of CHF 1.7 bio. invested in the country.
Our innovation priorities are shaped by our purpose and commitment to creating value for all our stakeholders. This means that in addition to advancing the nutrition, health and wellness profile of our categories, we have a special focus on:
• Developing recyclable packaging solutions to reduce our impact on the environment: investing in environmentally-friendly packaging solutions and alternative packaging materials
• Developing plant-based offerings and promoting sustainable nutrition: developing nutritious dairy and meat alternatives with a taste profile consumers love
• Promoting affordable nutrition: applying our expertise and novel technological solutions to make healthy, fortified products available at very low cost
In April 2019, Nestlé announced the creation of the Nestlé R&D Accelerator based in Lausanne. The accelerator brings together Nestlé scientists, students and start-ups to advance science and technology with the objective to accelerate the development of innovative products and systems. Internal, external or mixed teams are eligible to use dedicated hot desks at the accelerator over a defined period of time. They have access to Nestlé’s R&D expertise and infrastructure, including shared labs, kitchens, bench-scale and pilot-scale equipment.
In September 2019, Nestlé inaugurated the Packaging Research Institute, first-of-its-kind in the food industry, to help reduce plastic waste and to develop new packaging materials and delivery systems in collaboration with material producers, converters, academia and start-ups.
EPFL is an institute of technology located in Lausanne, Switzerland. Welcoming more than 15’000 students, professors and collaborators of more than 120 nationalities, it focuses on three main missions: education, research and innovation.
For more information, please visit our website: www.epfl.ch
EHL Group encompasses a portfolio of specialized business units that deliver hospitality management education and innovation worldwide. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Group includes:
EHL Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893 with over 25,000 alumni worldwide and over 120 nationalities. EHL is the world’s first hospitality management school that provides undergraduate and graduate programs at its campuses in Lausanne, Singapore and Chur-Passugg, as well as online learning solutions. EHL is ranked n°1 by QS World University Rankings by subject and CEOWorld Magazine, and its gastronomic restaurant is the world’s only educational establishment to hold a Michelin Star.
EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality has been one of the leading hospitality management colleges for hotel specialists for 50 years. The school delivers Swiss-accredited federal diplomas of vocational education and training and of higher education in its 19th century spa-hotel in Chur-Passugg, Graubünden, to Swiss and international students from 20 countries.
EHL Advisory Services is the largest Swiss hospitality advisory company specializing in service culture implementation, business consulting, as well as the development and quality assurance of learning centers. EHL Advisory Services has offices in Lausanne, Beijing, Shanghai and New Delhi and has delivered mandates in more than 60 countries over the past 40 years.
For more information, please visit our website: www.ehl.edu
Canton of Vaud – Home of Innovations
Philippe Leuba, The Councillor of State, Department Head of Economics and Sports Sport
As the main research and innovation centre within the French speaking area of Switzerland, the canton of Vaud is a highly favourable place to take your ideas and business up to the next level. Both science and industry interact with one another on a daily basis, allowing major breakthroughs in the field of new technologies. A unique combination made out of a typical Swiss Made know-how alongside the latest scientific discoveries from renowned technology parks is ultimately providing entrepreneurs with endless possibilities for innovation.
Innovative entrepreneurs can access a fertile ground to develop their ideas in the canton of Vaud through:
• A unique concentration of leading Swiss academic and research institutions (such as EPFL, UNIL-CHUV, HEIG-VD, IMD and ECAL among others), ensuring appropriate scientific expertise to develop new research from the laboratory straight to the market!
• A quarter of the 100 top Swiss startups are based in Vaud including 4 of the top 10 in 2019 as well as about 2’000 high-tech companies.
• Vaud-based startups have raised up to CHF 1.2 billion over the past 6 years.
• An effective network of partners to provide companies with specialized coaching and business support, networking opportunities with major actors in fields and specific funding for startups.
• A suitable setting to develop ideas and business in one of the seven incubators and innovation parks.
The Canton de Vaud managed to get there over the years by setting up an innovation support program to boost knowledge and ideas with the very objective to turn them into concrete applications. A close collaboration with the Confederation and several key-players from the private sector have allowed the Canton of Vaud to provide the companies willing to innovate and develop their activities in new technologies with a targeted support. Indeed, several programs to promote innovation within SMEs and startups have been successfully implemented over the years on both national and local scales resulting in a growing technology transfer between universities of applied sciences and industries.
Innovate, succeed, go beyond: entrepreneurs successfully meet these challenges in Vaud thanks to constructive and smart public-private collaboration.
In my department, the Office for Economic Affairs and Innovation (SPEI) advices entrepreneurs and allows a direct financial support to SMEs and startups based in Vaud and whose economic activities are involved with industrial production and advanced technologies. These grants are intended to support entrepreneurs in the creation and establishment of their existing or new business as well as improving their innovation processes, research and development, or production opportunities and in reaching out to international markets. Precisely, those grants cover innovation (acquisition of intellectual property rights or certifications, new product development), marketing and internationalization (through the participation into major exhibitions and business conventions or market studies) and technical/scientific staff training. In 2018, the Office for Economic Affairs and Innovation has supported 618 projects from 249 companies for a total amount of CHF 6.5 million.
The Office for Economic Affairs and Innovation works hand in hand and on a daily basis with partnered organizations such as Innovaud, which connects companies with research institutes and the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT), which offers loans with and without interests to technology startups that collaborate with universities and research labs.
My main concern is to make sure the Canton of Vaud’s policies remain in tune with an ever-changing ecosystem in order to provide entrepreneurs with a free and tailored access to network. The overall activities aim at providing financial support, developing and promoting R&D projects, promoting collaboration with innovation parks, supporting with talent recruitment, informing companies on taxation frameworks, as well as hosting events during the year and cultivating a strong international network for the startups here.
Last but not least, take a look at our ecosystem on www.invest-vaud.swiss
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