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Unilever planning Novel Food Hub for sustainable nutrition

Unilever is set to establish the Novel Food Hub “Knorri” at its production site in Thayngen in the Greater Zurich Area. At the competence center spanning 40,000 square meters, innovations for sustainable nutrition will be developed. To this end, Unilever Switzerland is joining forces with Alphorn Venture Partners.

The Unilever site in Thayngen is to become a competence center for the nutrition of the future.
The Unilever site in Thayngen is to become a competence center for the nutrition of the future. Image credit: Unilever Switzerland GmbH

Together with Alphorn Venture Partners (AVP), Unilever Switzerland has drawn up plans for an innovation center for innovative technologies and solutions in the areas of nutrition and food production. It is set to cover an area of 40,000 square meters at the Knorri factory site, where nearly all Knorr products for the Swiss market are manufactured. Over the long term, the aim is to create a “unique cooperation environment” between start-ups and established companies, academic research, investors and funding platforms at the Thayngen site, further details of which can be found in a press release issued by Unilever.

The consortium also comprises the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and KitchenTown, among other organizations. The company, which has locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Berlin promotes the development of sustainable food innovations. Economic Promotion Canton of Schaffhausen is also on board. “The project is an example of the efforts made by the Canton of Schaffhausen to establish itself as a region of application for future-oriented technologies”, comments Dino Tamagni, member of the cantonal government of Schaffhausen and Head of the cantonal Department for Economic Affairs, in the press release.

Christoph Schärrer, Delegate of the Economic Promotion Canton of Schaffhausen, points out that the competence center also offers good opportunities for development work by other companies and for start-ups. “The cooperation between Unilever and Alphorn Venture Partners creates a unique environment for innovation and collaboration”, Schärrer explains.

“The Thayngen location is ideal for closing the gap between product development, minimum quantities and industrial production”, comments Daniel Böhi, Managing Partner of AVP, adding that: “Being able to tap into Unilever Switzerland’s know-how and infrastructure and working together on solutions will enable us to make a breakthrough with new technologies more rapidly”.

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