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Nestlé boosts infant, medical, dairy R&D at Swiss base

31-Aug-2012
Last updated on 03-Sep-2012 at 14:46 GMT

The world’s biggest food company has extended its Product Technology Centre (PTC) in Konolfingen, Switzerland as it seeks to speed new product development in infant nutrition, medical nutrition and dairy.

The move follows the establishment in June of a Clinical Development Unit also in the Swiss city of Lausanne, where the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences is also set to open.

Hear Rafael Crabbé, head of the Clinical Development Unit talking about that venture here.

The initiatives mean half of Nestlé’s R&D spend is in Switzerland.

 “We are committed to research and development in Switzerland,” said Werner Bauer, Chief Technology Officer at Nestlé.

“We have had an R&D capability at Konolfingen for over 40 years since our company first acquired the milk sterilising site to develop milk products and processes. In 1998 we introduced the concept of Product Technology Centres.”

“This was a game-changing decision that concentrated product development to just a few sites globally. PTC Konolfingen quickly became a flagship for our new R&D structure.”

New capabilities at the site include a spray drying tower, installations for ‘wet mix’ processing and special production lines to package Nestlé powdered products. It has spent €387m there since 2006.

Konolfingen was the site where it developed hypo-allergenic infant formula in the 1980s along with probiotics that could be used in such formulas.

Other key research centres include St Louis in the US, Beijing in China and Tokyo in Japan.

Nestlé has 32 R&D centres, including 12 Product Technology Centres worldwide.

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