Top Chinese dairy company Yili Group announced on Thursday that its innovation center based in Wageningen University will connect more European partners to boost innovation for better food.
With its Europe R&D Center on Wageningen campus rebranded as Europe Innovation Center, Yili wants to work with a wider range of research institutes and industrial partners, said Zhang Jianqiu, Executive President of the Chinese largest dairy group.
"We started out with linking only to the university. Nowadays we work with all kinds of institutes, dairy companies, suppliers, etc.," explained Gerrit Smit, managing director of Yili Innovation Center Europe. "Because we want to create a win-win situation. If a new product is successful, everybody wins."
Set up in February 2014, the center fully owned by Yili Group has been collaborating with European partners on fundamental and applied research and knowledge transfer in the areas of processing technology, new product development, food safety and farm management.
Louise Fresco, President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board, hailed Yili's decision to boost its European research facility in the Dutch Food Valley area.
"We feel it is very important to look towards doing things together," she said. "The Belt and Road Initiative and interest in Africa very much match with the way that we can also bring things of goodness to Africa to Asia. We can do part of that work together."
Representatives from some 60 European research institutes, companies of food and dairy sector attended the ceremony.