A closer collaboration between Nestlé and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL Group) will see the world’s largest food company and its leading international hospitality management institution further combine their scientific and culinary expertise to accelerate innovation.

In the spirit of open innovation, both parties will enroll their creative talents in a joint program to translate scientific discoveries into prototypes and new recipes for Nestlé’s research or R&D Accelerator projects. In addition, EHL faculty and Nestlé Research scientists will collaborate on scientific publications.

Guided by EHL's chefs, in R&D workshops, EHL students will be exposed to Nestlé's strong expertise in science and technology, helping them to create new recipes. The collaboration will combine EHL's culinary expertise with Nestlé's scientific know how, and lead to the creation of new product concepts for specific consumer segments, following a rapid prototyping approach.

This collaboration builds on existing joint programs such as the well-established annual EHL-Nestlé Culinary Contest, where students compete to create the most appealing dishes – blending culinary art with the latest discoveries from food science and technology – and support for final-year student business projects, where students perform and assess research on unique areas of food and nutrition.

Reinhard Behringer, Head of Nestlé Institute of Material Sciences, said: "This extended collaboration will provide us with fertile ground for novel nutritious and tasty product offerings, while both parties will benefit from our respective world-class strengths. Both partners want to help the future generation develop their skills and creativity, and this agreement will ensure that students continue to benefit from 'hands on' business experience of food innovation."

As our global Nestlé needs YOUth initiative shows, creating opportunities and developing careers and skills for youth is a key focus. Within R&D, key programs include apprenticeships, university lecturing and thesis supervision plus awards for scientific excellence. Our R&D Accelerator program gives students and startups access to Nestlé expertise and infrastructure for six months.

Through all of our initiatives, we aim to combine the creativity and enthusiasm of young talents with the expertise and knowledge of an unmatched R&D organization. Together we unlock creativity and foster innovation.

Dr Inès Blal, Executive Dean of EHL, and Co-Director of the Institute of Nutrition R&D, said: "For many years, we’ve enjoyed close ties with the Nestlé Research team thanks to R&D workshops, where Nestlé food researchers present us with challenges that we then elaborate with students. Building on this experience, in 2021, we launched the EHL Institute of Nutrition R&D to develop cutting-edge advancements in foods of the future, recipes and cooking methods for a healthier and more sustainable approach. Through this established collaboration with Nestlé Research as one of our Institute's members we’re confident that we have a strong partner to support us in our mission."

In 2020, EHL Group and Nestlé co-founded and launched together with other partners the Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley, to develop and promote a global food and nutrition innovation ecosystem in Switzerland.