Puratos will open a new 9,000 square meter global R&D center at its Belgian headquarters in September this year.
The 'Inspirience Center' will include laboratories for food technology, baked products, biotechnology and chemical analysis as well as extensive office space and areas for activities and product interactions. A regional R&D center for Asia in China this year and another major R&D center in the US next year are also in the pipeline.
“Mixing different disciplines together is a great source of innovation,” Pierre Tossut, group R&D and large accounts director said.
“This is the main aim of the new global R&D center,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com at the ceremony for the new center yesterday.
The R&D head said the complex would facilitate cooperation across business units and promote closer collaboration with marketing teams to better connect developments with customers.
“This is one of the main challenges we see – making new developments relevant to customers,” he said.
“A very important step in R&D is to link new technologies with the needs of clients… Every time we build something new, we need to connect it to the customer,” he added.
Filip Arnaut, R&D director for Group Research & Services Lab, said: “The basic concept of the new center is to stimulate interaction across business units and this is reflected in the whole design.”
Arnaut explained that teams would share spaces and equipment – including ovens and testing units.
CEO of Puratos Daniel Malcorps said the new center will fuel and underpin the group’s entire global R&D network.
“This center will provide the fundamental molecular and technology R&D that can then be translated to market-specific developments in local R&D centers across the globe,” Malcorps said.
The CEO and Tossut joined together in emphasizing the importance of continued and substantial investments in innovation.
“Without R&D you can’t move forward in the market,” Tossut said.
Malcorps said the group spends more than its competitors on R&D – around 2.3% of sales each year.
“We must keep innovating and stay relevant in the market. The ultimate purpose of this continued, extensive investment in R&D is to help our customers be more successful in business,” he said.