H.J. Heinz (US) and Friesland Campina (the Netherlands) are multinational heavyweights in food and nutrition. They are both active in expanding their global reach. When evaluating establishing new locations, both companies perform benchmark studies that look at taxation, costs, incentives, education, labor, logistics and sales development. The competing regions were Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Denmark/Oresund.
The result of the benchmark studies was that both Heinz and FrieslandCampina established their R&D headquarters in Food Valley, the Netherlands (Heinz - 250 employees, FrieslandCampina - 450 employees).
Multinationals such as Heinz and Friesland Campina centralize their European R&D activities in Food Valley, the Netherlands:
1. The Dutch tax system grants great opportunities and flexibility for R&D companies.
2. The Netherlands is one of the most stable countries in Europe, especially when looking at politics and the economy.
3. Access to European and regional subsidies are the favorable for Food Valley, as the government of the Netherlands has chosen to invest in the Food/Health sectors.
4. Food Valley is strong in innovation and access to knowledge and state-of-the-art facilities.
In recent years, a rapidly growing number of important food and nutrition companies have established in Food Valley, making the Food Valley region one of Europe's major hubs for research-driven innovation.
It has long been recognized that a concentration of business activity focusing on a particular industry can be a powerful stimulating factor. Silicon Valley in the US, HITEC City in Hyderabad, India, and the City of London are all clear evidence of companies, universities and communities that thrive by their focus on a particular industry. They become a hub of activity as well as a powerful attractor for more of the same. Food Valley shows clearly a similar concentration and, with its food and nutrition companies, univesities and focus on agriculture, has become a powerful attractor for new companies and talent.
The Food Valley region is host to four life sciences-related institutes for academic research and higher education: Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), Radboud University Nijmegen, Utrecht University and Van Hall Larenstein. The town of Wageningen, itself called ‘City of Life Sciences’, has a strong and highly relevant focus on Agrotechnology & Food Sciences.
The Valley also hosts prominent research institutes such as NIZO Food Research (Ede), one of the most advanced, independent contract research companies in the world. Its 200 employees stand ready to assist food and ingredient companies with developing and applying new technologies.
TNO Healthy Living (Zeist) provides research solutions to public and private partners in the food and health sectors.
RIKILT Institute of Food Safety carries out high-grade research into safety, health and quality aspects of Dutch food and feed.
The Centre for Human Nutrigenomics combines excellent pre-competitive research and high quality (post)graduate training on the interface of genomics, nutrition and human health.
Plant Research International (PRI) uses its expertise in genetics and reproduction, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, crop protection, crop ecology and agrosystems to offer private and public partners a wide range of research. PRI is proud to cover the entire agro-production chain.
Prominent private sector companies are also well established in the Food Valley area. Among them are H.J. Heinz, Smithfield group, Unilever, CP Kelco, Nestlé, Sobel, FrieslandCampina, Mead Johnson, Kikkoman, Masterfoods, Heineken, Givaudan, Grolsch, Monsanto, Abbott Laboratories.
More proof of the Valley’s dominant position in the area of food and nutrition innovation is that it is home to the Netherlands’ most important public-private organizations for food innovation: the Stichting Food & Nutrition Delta and the Top Institute Food & Nutrition, an R&D alliance in which major food producers.
TI Food and Nutrition industrial partner organizations: ACTA Dental Research, Cargill, CBL, Chr. Hansen, CRV, CSK food enrichment, CSM, Danone, DSM, Federatie Nederlandse Levensmiddelen Industrie (FNLI), Fromageries Bel, GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg Company, Nestlé, Philips Research, Productschap Zuivel, Royal FrieslandCampina, Unilever, VION Food Group, Wrigley.
TI Food and Nutrition partner research institutes: NIZO food research, TNO, University of Maastricht, Wageningen University and Research Centre, University of Groningen.
Companies and other organizations in Food Valley have been very successful in acquiring funding from international, national and regional governments. Two years ago, for example, Heinz and Uniq received EU funding for innovation projects.
In its 7th Framework Program (FP7), the EU has earmarked €1.9 billion for technology research projects related to food, agriculture, fisheries, and biotechnology, a significant share of which could end up in Food Valley. The Dutch Food & Nutrition Delta Innovation Program has budgeted €279 million for public-private research. The Province of Gelderland actively supports efforts to participate in innovation programs, in part by contributing €10 million per year to them.
The Food Valley Foundation furthers the common interests of all members in the Valley. Among many other things, the network organization initiates collaboration projects between companies and non-private institutes. It also promotes the Valley as a hot spot for innovation in food and nutrition; and it attracts new investments and players to strengthen this common goal. Furthermore, Food Valley serves as a gateway to other regions within the Food Innovation Network Europe (FINE).
Recently, Wageningen UR, BioPartner Center Wageningen, Rabobank and Oost NV have declred their ambition to make Food Valley Europe’s number one region for innovation in healthy and sustainable food by 2020.
To achieve this goal, the organizations proposed €4.4 billion in additional public-private investments to, among many other things:
For more information, contact your personal advisor Bernold Kemperink,
telephone: (+ 31) 26 384 42 22.