In September 2013, Nutricia Research, an R&D subsidiary of Danone with a focus on medical and early life nutrition, established a brand new innovation center at the Utrecht Science Park. There, the company brought scientific and technological expertise and facilities from across the Netherlands, Germany and the UK together into a single location, which now performs 80 percent of the company’s global medical nutrition R&D activities, as well as 50 percent of its early life nutrition R&D there.
“In choosing a location for our new innovation center, we considered two options: the Netherlands or France,” said Hanno Cappon, Nutricia Medical Nutrition’s VP of R&D. “The Netherlands was the most attractive option for us, in particular due to the extensive knowledge network in the area of nutrition and health, which has led many prominent players within the care and nutrition industry to establish themselves here.”
“Utrecht is situated close to Schiphol and because we work closely with other R&D departments within Danone, including Paris, Singapore and Shanghai, this was a key factor,” Cappon said. “Additionally, Utrecht is a hub of international talent and the city offers a range of facilities that are specifically aimed at people who have come here from abroad.”
Since the beginning, NFIA has been closely associated with the plans to open a new research center. “We have received an enormous amount of help from the NFIA, in so many areas. They advised us on the finer points of taxation, assisted us in choosing a location here in the Netherlands, contacted provincial and municipal bodies, offered support in applying for permits — our relationship with the NFIA has been invaluable to us.”