Through its recently inaugurated R&D Center in Latin America, Nestlé has signed an agreement with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC Chile), to strengthen joint entrepreneurship capabilities, and explore the potential of marine plants and other alternative vegetable protein sources in Latin America.
Marine plants and algae play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gases and can be used as sustainable food and packaging materials. The research agreement will focus on supply chains, nutritional profiles, and possible product applications, leveraging Nestlé's R&D expertise and the strengths of UC Chile as a leading research institution in Latin America. Chile is an excellent location to conduct research into marine plants and algae. With its extensive coastline of over 6,400 km, the country is home to one of the largest algae forests in the world. At the same time, Chile offers a vibrant, growing innovation ecosystem.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at UC Innovation Center in Santiago de Chile, Rector of UC Chile, Ignacio Sánchez, said: "Our university is constantly searching for strategic routes that add value to collaborative work. Likewise, we have a responsibility to promote virtuous flows of knowledge. This new alliance with Nestlé R&D is a clear example of the collaborations that allow us to strengthen research networks and achieve positive results that impact people's quality of life."
Also present at the ceremony, Paul Bulcke, Nestlé Chairman, said: "We need innovation to transform the food system, and address challenges including climate change and malnutrition. That is why this type of agreement is very important for us, as it allows us to collaborate and share expertise with authorities, academics, students, entrepreneurs, and startups, to identify suitable solutions to the challenges we face."
The collaboration agreement will support PhD students to conduct research related to marine plants and algae and other alternative plant protein sources. In addition, it will cover the costs of internships in Chile and abroad for four Master's students per year from the schools of Engineering and Agronomy.
In addition to scientific research, the collaboration between these institutions will include innovation and entrepreneurship challenges, both at student and startup level, as well as collaborations through the new regional Nestlé R+D Accelerator and other R&D projects.
With this new agreement, Nestlé continues to strengthen its global strategic research partnerships, building on existing agreements with universities in Europe, the United States, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The agreement demonstrates Nestlé's commitment to investing in R&D, innovation, and youth in Latin America, as well as its support for entrepreneurs.
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