On June 2021, Yili, Asia’s largest and fast-growing dairy company, is officially partnering with the agri-foodtech accelerator StartLife in the Netherlands. Yili is also joining the Open Innovation Forum, an industry network for food and FMCG companies at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), which is part of the University of Cambridge. Through building this wider innovation ecosystem, Yili will enhance collaborations across Europe to work on the challenges faced in the food and agricultural sectors to deliver healthy solutions to consumers.
The collaboration with StartLife enables Yili to tap into the innovation ecosystem of agri-foodtech start-up and scale-up companies. Together with entrepreneurs, Yili will also brainstorm and facilitate exchange of new ideas across the industry. Yili Innovation Center Europe and Startlife are both based on the campus of Wageningen University & Research at the heart of Food Valley in The Netherlands, which makes the collaboration even more appealing.
Through becoming a member of the IfM’s Open Innovation Forum, Yili has a unique opportunity to collaborate with industry experts and world-leading academics, gaining access to the latest industry insights, tools and techniques. IfM’s Open Innovation Forum also provides a platform for collaboration opportunities among companies at full range of activities in the food, beverage and FMCG value chains. The Forum helps members to combine their internal thinking with external insights, ideas and paths to market, and strengthens Yili’s membership in the Corporate Venturing Leadership Forum originating from the Cambridge ecosystem as well.
Through these exciting collaborations, Yili gains access to a very large ecosystem of innovative agricultural and healthy food start-ups to help overcome future challenges faced by the industry, including challenges emerging in the next decade and beyond. This will result in new win-win collaborations, such as proof of concept projects to deliver holistic solutions. Yili will be a catalyst in enabling start-ups to get access to the fast-growing healthy food market in China and the rest of Asia.
Yili ranks among the Global Dairy Top 5 and has sustained an undisputable position of No. 1 in Asia for seven successive years. Yili has the ambition to become the most-trusted healthy food provider across the world. Yili Innovation Center Europe (YICE), based in Wageningen, The Netherlands, is the innovation bridge to Yili in China.
StartLife is Europe’s longest running and leading agrifoodtech accelerator. Its mission is to support founders in accelerating their agrifoodtech startups that help, shape, a sustainable food system. Since 2010, StartLife has built ， supported and funded over 300 agrifoodtech startups propelling breakthrough technologies in the domains of food &agriculture.
IfM Engage partners with organisations across industry, government and academia to support them in solving complex challenges, using approaches and knowledge developed at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), a division of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. IfM are grounded in exceptional research, combined with a breadth of industrial expertise.