Tetra Pak and Lund University have launched Biotech Heights, a new research hub exploring food and materials production using bioprocessing technologies.
Biotech Heights aims to establish an open innovation environment, where organisations will have access to cutting-edge equipment and laboratories for both commercial and academic purposes. It will explore the use of bioprocessing to create useful products from living cells or cell components.
Participants will have the opportunity to work alongside several faculties at the university in Lund, Sweden, to address both the technical and non-technical challenges faced by producers, brands and manufacturers operating in this space.
Tetra Pak will bring its experience supporting food and beverage brands with product development to the partnership, encouraging collaboration, testing of ideas and shared knowledge on best practices and consumer trends at the new hub.
One key focus of the facility will be on developing scalable solutions to meet the food and nutrition needs of future generations without increasing the pressure on agriculture amid the rapidly growing global population. The hub aims to bring together unconventional players who will innovate to overcome technological challenges in this area.
The latest insights from Tetra Pak Index 2023 show that 48% of global consumers believe that technological innovation is crucial to providing healthy food and drink in the future, however 46% view food innovation as ‘risky’ and fear for the health implications of future innovations.
This highlights that the challenge of scaling new food solutions extends beyond technology and into consumer acceptance and education, Tetra Pak highlighted.
With this in mind, the hub will include cross-disciplinary research within marketing strategies, consumer behaviour and emerging trends. It aims to provide market-leading understanding of consumer perception and branding, alongside addressing the technical obstacles facing alternative protein production.
Charles Brand, executive vice president for processing solutions and equipment at Tetra Pak, said: “Today’s food systems are not fit for purpose, and collaboration across business and academia is crucial to provide new solutions to food systems transformation”.
He added: “Tetra Pak and Lund University share a common goal of developing technology that contributes towards a more sustainable future, and we look forward to taking our decades-long partnership to the next level”.
Annika Olsson, dean at Lund University’s faculty of engineering, added: “Lund University’s research mission in this area revolves around the exploration and advancement of scalable biotechnology, which we see as a transformative tool to building a more sustainable society. However, none of this is possible without collaborating with key industry partners like Tetra Pak.”
“By bringing together experts from academia and industry with infrastructure from diverse fields, we can foster state-of-the-art advancements and drive positive change on a much larger scale.”
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