Bits x Bites
3 julio 2020
China Food Tech Hub—the consortium organized by Bits x Bites to foster startup-corporate cooperation—has grown with the joining of new member companies. They include Nestle, Ajinomoto and Italian pasta giant Barilla’s food innovation arm Blu1877.
Since its launch a year ago, China Food Tech Hub has expanded to 15 member corporations spread along the supply chain. They represent every sector from consumer foods to animal feed to flavors and ingredients to agricultural processing. All of them seek a front-row seat to see the latest startup innovations, meet disruptors who could bring fresh ideas for building new growth, and join an evolving Chinese food innovation ecosystem that was non-existent just a few short years ago.
“By joining the China Food Tech Hub, we want to enlarge Blu1877‘s network and reach out to visionary teams and find new opportunities for innovation and collaboration for Barilla, particularly in plant-based, sustainability, well-being, and convenience trends,” says Michela Petronio VP of Barilla’s Blu1877. Blu1877 has recently launched its startup innovation program Good Food Makers.
The China Food Tech Hub puts together corporate heads of R&D, food innovation teams, and business unit leads as well as Chinese and international startups up and down the supply chain. These connections have become even more important in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with new opportunities emerging but travel restricted. The China Food Tech Hub recently convened its members online with startup founders solving problems along the food value chain with innovations like AI, automation, and synthetic biology.
“Over the past decade, China has had its foot on the gas pedal to accelerate science and technology development. Just this April China became the world’s biggest source of applications for international patents. In food and agriculture, Chinese scientists are also some of the most prolific producers of scientific research patents and papers,” says Matilda Ho, founder and managing director, Bits x Bites.
“Converting research into commercial successes will take time and a supportive network in the background,” continues Ho. “As an agrifood investor focused on the China market, we are thrilled to be working here on the ground with a growing community of corporations to support quality founders as they drive toward commercialization and scale.”
Daniel Deng, product development director, G&M/FC, Mars Wrigley China, adds: “The China Food Tech Hub bridges two extremes in China’s food innovation: multinationals and disruptive startups. Together we trade industry and technology insights and explore synergistic opportunities. Mars is so happy to be part of this ecosystem and to collaboratively find breakthroughs in food technology and new product experiences.”
Alexandre Bastos, the global director of innovation at Givaudan says: “China is undoubtedly a key high growth market for Givaudan now and in the near future. We have seen an emerging food tech ecosystem and we believe these innovators will play a key role in accelerating and customizing key global trends such as alternative protein, cell culture, farming of the future to regional consumers.”
In addition to the new members, the China Food Tech Hub also includes Ferrero, Givaudan, Griffith Foods, LDC, Mars Wrigley, Mondelez, Novozymes, Nutreco, Sumitomo, and more.