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Open innovation

culinary testing


Here at Nestlé, we're taking open innovation to the next level. We're working with researchers, startups and innovation partners to strengthen entrepreneurship and shape disruptive innovation.

Through our global R&D Accelerator network, we provide a unique platform for startups, students and Nestlé intrapreneurs to bring highly differentiated innovations to market, fast.

During an immersive, six-month 'idea to shop' program, each team has full access to our infrastructure, plus unmatched science, technology and business expertise.


We give internal and external entrepreneurs full access to the expertise and infrastructure they need to translate their idea into a product. From analytical labs and experimental kitchens to prototyping and production facilities, we help them test their innovations in real market conditions.

Tom Wagner Head of Nestlé R&D Accelerator program
The Swiss Food and Nutritional Valley

Our cross-category R&D Accelerator in Lausanne sits at the heart of the Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley (SFNV), a global innovation ecosystem for food and nutrition co-founded by Nestlé.

SFNV attracts members from a range of sectors. Large enterprises like Nestlé, academic and research institutions, government organizations, innovation enablers, plus SMEs and startups. The aim is to create innovations linked to the future of food.

Mass Challenge Switzerland

Nestlé also supports MassChallenge Switzerland, an accelerator that connects startup teams with experts and resources to help them grow.

R&D Innovation Challenges enable us address specific business needs, too. For example, we launched a challenge in sub-Saharan Africa to help boost local entrepreneurship. And created partnerships with a university in China to develop sustainable packaging solutions.

Supporting the next generation

Today, two out of every five young people are either unemployed or working in a job that keeps them in poverty. To help tackle this problem, we launched Nestlé Needs YOUth, our global youth initiative. This helps young people gain skills that will help them thrive in tomorrow's workplace.

Our Nestlé Youth Entrepreneurship Platform (YEP) further supports this initiative. YEP consolidates all Nestlé's innovation programs in one place, and provides a 'one-stop shop' for future food innovators to learn new skills, test ideas and grow their businesses.

Venture capital investing

Investing is another way we're able to innovate more effectively. By investing in innovative start-up companies through venture capital (VC) funds, we can stay on top of the latest sustainable food industry trends and technologies. We're also able to develop relationships with start-ups for potential collaboration or direct investment at a later stage.

Through VC funding, we support innovative ideas and help them become a reality. We take a portfolio approach, meaning we invest in multiple VC funds that have proven track records and industry expertise.

Diversifying our investments improves our returns and reduces our risk, but more importantly, it gives us exposure to more areas of interest and more geographies.

Our VC investments

Nestlé uses VC funding as a catalyst for innovation. We don't use these investment vehicles to provide direct investment, seed financing, or growth financing. Rather, we use it to invest in VC funds that target start ups.

Our VC investments are focused on innovations in three key areas.

  • Biotech
    - Supporting healthier lives through research into the science of nutrition and where it impacts human health.

    - Finding next-generation solutions for food allergies.

    - Developing scientific research into nutritional solutions for metabolic health issues and gastrointestinal conditions.

    Through the Nestlé Health Science Venture Capital fund
  • Innovation
    - Supporting food technologies that will help us expand our portfolio and drive new business.

    - Developing new business models that can create better distribution and contact with consumers.

    Through the Nestlé Ventures fund
  • Sustainability
    - Helping farmers and suppliers make the transition to regenerative agriculture. This supports our commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

    - Promoting packaging solutions and recycling infrastructure that contributes to circular economies. This supports our commitment to make our packaging 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025.

    Through the Nestlé Ventures fund