27 Apr 2018 --- Frutarom is opening FoodNxt, an innovation lab for food-tech start-ups, in the north of Israel. The company is inviting Israeli food-tech and ingredient companies to collaborate and develop all-natural ingredient solutions for the global food and beverage industry. More than 80 food-tech start-ups are based in Israel, with a rapid double-digit growth rate expected by 2020.
Frutarom was selected, following a tender procedure, by the Israel Innovation Authority to operate the innovation lab for three years. Start-ups chosen to join FoodNxt by Frutarom will be granted up to 85 percent of their approved R&D expenses (up to NIS1 million, or about US$300,000) to reach a proof of concept. The innovation lab is led by Gali Artzi, Ph.D., Frutarom Innovation Director. Artzi, with extensive experience as an R&D professional, has held commercial positions in the industry since 2010. She previously held key roles at VAYA Pharma, Inc. (US) and Enzymotec, Israel, and has a B.Sc. in Biology and a Ph.D. in cell research and immunology, both from Tel Aviv University.
The FoodNxt professional team will help selected startups formulate their products to meet all international regulations, develop patent strategy, build business plans and test the market. FoodNxt offers access to Frutarom’s portfolio for developing and testing on modular platforms, and connect Israeli innovation with the food and health ingredient markets.
Gali Artzi, Ph.D., Frutarom Innovation Director told FoodIngredientsFirst: “Growing start-ups offer the highest potential for job growth, creating jobs at faster rates than older companies do. Startups can create new industries over time by spurring innovation and injecting competition into stagnant industries. New entrepreneurs should bring new ideas to the table, which both consumers and industry leaders need them to do so that we all benefit from stir innovation and generate competition.”
Startups chosen for FoodNxt will receive financing at a participation rate of 85 percent and the FoodNxt innovation lab will provide its startups with a variety of technologies, advanced equipment, and a professional team that will support ventures throughout the program,” she explains.
The close collaboration of FoodNxt with of each innovative company that participates will include the preparation of a business plan and feasibility study.
Frutarom as a leading player in healthy food products, through FoodNxt incubator, will connect Israeli entrepreneurs and innovators to international markets for healthy foods and raw materials. The innovation lab launched recently by the Israel Innovation Authority encourages and helps globally established and respected corporations such as Frutarom to provide start-ups with the knowledge and resources to grow and develop their businesses with the right global market orientation.
FoodNxt is based in northern Israel, which is a perfect hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, specifically in the field of Foodtech, according to Artzi. “In the last couple of years there is a true attempt to consolidate the Israeli Foodtech community so that the speed and quality of technological innovation in this industry can improve significantly,” she adds.
Click to Enlarge“Frutarom wants the FoodNxt incubator to reinforce and grow Israel so that our national companies in this sector can be world leaders and bring meaningful innovation to businesses and consumers around the world. The incubator provides a home for entrepreneurs and a breeding house. Frutarom’s FoodNxt innovation lab will invest Frutarom’s time, talent, and treasure in companies that focus on solving vital problems that plague consumers and manufacturers today – problems like obesity, diabetes, finding alternative protein sources, addressing unmet need for natural and healthy food products and supplements that maintain nutritional values and protect the environment,” she notes.
“Israel being a ‘start-up nation’ is not just a cliché,” says Yoni Glickman, President of Frutarom Natural Solutions. “Start-ups have become the growth engine of the food industry, and Frutarom, through FoodNxt, is working to accelerate this innovation – by providing know-how, processes, technologies, and expertise to help overcome challenges, nurture development, and launch new products into the global market.”
“Strategically, we seek real innovation in every aspect of Frutarom activities,” notes Glickman. “In the past few years, we have collaborated with innovative startups and companies to identify novel ingredients and technologies. For example, developing the ‘NutraT’ a line of ready-to-use soluble powder formulas that dissolve easily in water, soft drinks and dairy products, or Frutaceuticals, a nutraceutical line that incorporates functional botanicals into real fruit pieces, developed with Taura URC Technology, and many others. Innovation is one of our key drivers to success in making better-for-you products based on our expertise in taste and health.”
“The innovation labs program launched recently by the Israel Innovation Authority enables seasoned and experienced corporations such as Frutarom to provide start-ups with the required platform to grow and establish their businesses with the right global market focus,” says Anya Eldan, VP Start-Up division at the Israel Innovation Authority. “Moreover, such program enables the promotion of innovative ideas and technologies as part of a growing food-related ecosystem in Israel.”
By Elizabeth Green
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