Food and tech

On 18 November 2019, 70 people gathered at the EHL Innovation Village in Lausanne for the “FoodTech Breakfast” event to learn more about the state of innovation in food in Switzerland as well as in the canton of Vaud. The event, which was co-organized by Innovaud, the DEV and l'EHL, also contributed to the effort to build and foster a food and technology community in Switzerland.

The event saw presentations of many experts and companies including startups as well as innovation and education representatives active in FoodTech. Winnaretta Zina SINGER, head of innovation pole at EHL and Pierre-Jean Wipff, innovation advisor at Innovaud, opened the event. Winnaretta Zina SINGER presented the EHL Innovation Village inaugurated in 2018 and its missions: to support entrepreneurship and to inspire and disrupt the food & hospitality industry.

Then, Julie Schüpbach, head of marketing at Agropole and Tom Wagner, head of science & technology innovation at Nestlé, introduced their activities. The role of the innovation campus Agropole is to explore, create and promote the agriculture of tomorrow, and commercialize new sustainable models. On its side, Nestlé opened a R&D accelerator and is, unlike major international companies and industrial players, working on tackling global challenges such as food security and safety, and the environmental impact of food.

Following this, Christian Nils Schwab, executive director, Integrative Food & Nutrition Centre at EPFL, Thierry Duvanel, director of Collaborative Innovation at Bühler Group and Léonard Badet, head of Group Innovation at BOBST Group, presented their activities and the industry trends. For example, the role and future needs of protein, knowing that the human population is estimated to grow at 10 billion in 2050, as well as the environmental challenges implied by packaging and new, sustainable ways to produce it.

Four startups active in FoodTech presented their innovation to close the morning:

Mixfit develops MINA, an intelligent nutrition assistant which customizes real-time supplement delivery based on users’ profile, diet, and activity level.

OriginFood develops digitalization and blockchain solutions for sustainability and smart supply chains.

Scantrust develops a product authentication solutions, allowing brand trust through transparency.

SwissDeCode helps farmers and food manufacturers to grow and produce food that is safe to eat by providing rapid food safety solutions.

GNUbiotics is a nutrition company developing and supplying nutritional ingredients to influence the microbiome and positively impact the gut for the food and nutrition industries.

In conclusion, this event highlighted the major challenges that the world is facing in terms of food with a growing population, in a healthy and sustainable way. Switzerland may be able to play a crucial role in providing concreate solutions to this challenge thanks to its innovation capacities, leading food and nutrition companies and disrupting startups.

Useful links

You can live the event again on Twitter using the hashtag and link: #FoodTechBreakfast

Check the images of the event we posted on LinkedIn.