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University Labs Support Industry Innovation

Aug 11, 2020

The following article was written by Chris Barbier, technical sales consultant at Allpax, and was featured in Food Technology Magazine.

University-based food scientists and food science departments have a long history of providing support and fresh ideas to the food industry through basic research and partnerships with major corporations. Now, universities are increasingly developing capabilities to support the efforts of small and mid-sized companies and entrepreneurs who are bringing new products to market.

“I think most people agree that innovation is happening with the startups and small to mid-sized level,” observes Louise Wicker, professor at Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Agricultural Center. “And food incubators, like the LSU AgCenter Incubator and other incubators at Rutgers, North Carolina State, and Oregon State University, are providing the expertise, the equipment, and the processes to help these companies start on their innovation journeys.”

William Aimutis, executive director of the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab (NCFIL), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University, sees consumer shifts in food preferences driving entrepreneurial approaches to new food products, with major food companies “willing to pay for those entrepreneurial ideas because it saves them literally millions of dollars as the new product is already developed, marketed, and successful.”

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