To complement our internal capabilities, we work closely with a number of academic institutions and public organizations.
We engage in partnerships according to the Nestlé Policy on Public-Private Science & Research Partnerships (pdf, 1Mb), which promotes academic freedom and neutrality, ethics and integrity.
We are committed to communicating our main research priorities, partnerships and financial contributions in a timely manner, and we expect our partners to disclose their collaborations with us once their results are published.
See our list of Public–Private Science & Research Partnerships (pdf, 500Kb), and find out more about our clinical trials. Here are some of our key partnerships, listed in alphabetical order.
Some key partnerships
Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI)
Our partnership with the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) is focused on understanding the microbiome’s impact on human health and accelerating the development of innovative nutritional solutions to promote health and wellbeing.
Our collaboration with the EpiGen Consortium, an alliance with researchers in Southampton, Auckland and Singapore, focuses on pregnancy, infancy and childhood growth and metabolic health. Our joint research has led to a clinical trial, NiPPeR, aimed at improving glucose metabolism in pregnancy and infant body composition.
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Food
A pan-European consortium focused on entrepreneurship and innovation in the food sector, EIT Food brings together partners from leading businesses, research centers and universities. For example, one of our collaborative projects, Favuleux, explores the potential of fava beans as a large-scale source of sustainable protein.
We took part in two EIT-funded summer schools in 2019. The EIT Health, INJOY+ Summer School hosted students interested in creating products and services to support healthy aging. The EIT Food Summer School: Food Innovation Lab at EIT Zurich focused on developing solutions to tackle global food challenges.
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Through our long-term relationship with EPFL, we fund research on biodegradable packaging (BioPack), and hardware/software platform design for beverage systems. In May 2020, we announced that we will co-fund a new professorship for sustainable materials. With EPFL, we also collaborate on research in cellular nutrition and brain health, and are two founding partners of the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley.
In the frame of a major research program begun in 2021, Nestlé and ETH Zürich will explore interdisciplinary solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change while increasing nutritional quality and yield in dairy and crop farming.
Future Food Initiative
We are founding members of the Future Food Initiative with EPFL and ETH Zurich, and our industry partners Bühler and Givaudan. This initiative encourages food and nutrition research in areas relevant to consumer trends and sustainability. It includes a post-doctoral fellowship program to promote young scientists.
Imperial College London
Our research partnership with Imperial College London focuses on nutritional science and covers a number of areas including the microbiome and the gut-brain axis.
Technical University of Munich
We have a long-standing partnership with Technical University Munich (TUM), to support projects on aroma, taste and texture and on plant-based nutrition. Nestlé Research also hosts TUM-affiliated students under the collaborative PhD program, who complete their projects with us, but receive their PhD from TUM.
Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley
We have co-founded the Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley association with our partners – EPFL, EHL and the Swiss Canton of Vaud – to develop sustainable solutions for the future of food and nutrition, using cutting-edge science and technology.
The association aims to attract talent, startups and investment to strengthen the existing unrivalled ecosystem for food and nutrition innovation. The Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley organizes events in Switzerland and beyond to further its goals.
At the heart of the Valley is our R&D Accelerator at Nestlé Research in Lausanne, Switzerland. This unites Nestlé scientists, students and startups to accelerate the development of innovative products and systems.
We support Ecotrophelia (the European Food Innovation Student Awards), a competition where student teams compete to develop the most innovative food recipes. The innovation can reside in the concept, formulation, its nutritional qualities, packaging, or in its sustainable character. This is one of the actions we take to support entrepreneurship as part of our Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative.
European Master in Food Studies (EMFS)
Nestlé supports EMFS, a two-year MSc Food Technology program led by Wageningen University & Research (WUR). The program gives participants the opportunity to study modules at four top universities: WUR itself, University College Cork, AgroParisTech and Lund. Students complete a nine-month placement with a food industry partner, of which Nestlé is one, in their second year.
University of Ghana
Through an agreement with the University of Ghana, we have committed to enhancing nutrition and sustainability research. This is part of Nestlé’s effort to contribute to the local innovation ecosystem, by supporting emerging students, and collaborating with startups and innovation partners. The grant will support PhD student projects related to the development of highly affordable nutritious products, the public health impact of iron deficiency campaigns and consumer behavioral change to drive recycling of packaging materials.
The relationship builds on Nestlé’s strong collaboration with the academic network in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, we ran an R&D innovation challenge, which saw three startups start a four-month residency at the new Nestlé R&D Accelerator for sub-Saharan Africa, at our R&D Center in Abidjan.
University of Lausanne (UNIL)
A framework agreement between Nestlé and University of Lausanne (UNIL), allows students from the university’s Faculty of Biology and Medicine to obtain their PhD or MD-PhD there, while completing their project at Nestlé Research.