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Oct 11, 2019

“Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley”: multi-stakeholder initiative to enhance innovation in food and nutrition

Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley

The Swiss Canton of Vaud, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL Group) and Nestlé have joined forces to develop and promote a global innovation ecosystem on food and nutrition. The initiative will be launched in 2020 as the “Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley”, with the aim to further attract talent, start-ups and investment to the region.

Switzerland is home to a unique ecosystem in the area of food and nutrition. This is due to its 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 Switzerland, including in the areas of nutrition, nutrigenomics, alternative proteins, packaging sciences and sustainable agriculture. With the creation of the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley, the founding partners aim to strengthen the existing innovation ecosystem further and attract talent, start-ups and investment to the region. The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley addresses major challenges of the future of food and nutrition using cutting-edge science and technology - from agriculture to waste, from innovative products to healthy, sustainable diets.

The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley is endorsed by the Swiss Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. The initiative was presented during a visit of the Federal Councilor to Nestlé Research on 11 October 2019. Mr Parmelin stated: “Food production in Switzerland is very close to my heart, both as farmer by training and as minister for economic affairs. I therefore support initiatives like the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley, where we highlight our Swiss competitive advantages in research, innovation and production.”

The initiative will be officially launched in January 2020.

Quotes from founding partners:

Philippe Leuba, State Councilor, Canton of Vaud: “This new initiative will accelerate further the collaborations between all the players already present, and it will actually help to develop and reinforce innovation in the area of nutrition.”

Martin Vetterli, President EPFL: "We look forward to collaborating in the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley to further strengthen research and innovation in an area that is of key importance to Switzerland.”

Michel Rochat, CEO EHL Group: “With a reputation in the practical arts, honored by a Michelin star and a 16/20 Gault & Millau grade, the EHL Group, beyond its educational activities, has the responsibility to lead the way in a field that impacts everyone’s daily life around the world. This new center of excellence will be driven by shared values and will enhance bridging economic actors and academic institutions, that will forge, together, tomorrow’s industry."

Stefan Palzer, CTO Nestlé S.A.: “Switzerland is home to a very unique innovation ecosystem for food and nutrition. Together we can more effectively address global challenges such as delicious, nutritious and affordable nutrition for all, sustainable packaging and mitigation of climate change.”

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