Tetra Pak research hub to develop future food and materials with Lund University

Biotech Heights is a new research hub from the shared ambition of Tetra Pak and Lund University for bioprocessing.

The hub will provide new avenues for sustainable food and materials production from living cells or cell components.

Aiming to establish an “open innovation environment” focused on bioprocessing technologies, the hub is designed to use state-of-the-art infrastructure from lab to industrial-scale and invite collaboration from organisations across industry and academia.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to work alongside several faculties at the University to address both the technical and non-technical challenges facing producers, brands, and manufacturers.

Biotech Heights is being positioned as a space to nurture and test ideas, and collaborate to share knowledge on best practices and consumer trends.

As the world faces numerous challenges from greenhouse gas emissions to feeding a growing global population, the hub is a collaborative space, aiming to bring together unconventional players to build new knowledge and generate scalable solutions, according to the founders.

Charles Brand, executive vice president for processing solutions & equipment at Tetra Pak, says: “Today’s food systems are not fit for purpose, and collaboration across business and academia is crucial to provide new solutions to food systems transformation. Tetra Pak and Lund University share a common goal of developing technology that contributes towards a more sustainable future, and we look forward to taking our decades-long partnership to the next level. With Biotech Heights, we can provide a safe space for customers and collaboration partners to trial solutions to the multi-faceted challenge of scalability.”

Annika Olsson, Dean at Lund University Faculty of Engineering, said: “Lund University’s research mission in this area revolves around the exploration and advancement of scalable biotechnology, which we see as a transformative tool to building a more sustainable society. However, none of this is possible without collaborating with key industry partners like Tetra Pak. By bringing together experts from academia and industry with infrastructure from diverse fields, we can foster state-of-the-art advancements and drive positive change on a much larger scale.”

The latest insights from Tetra Pak Index 2023 show that 48% of global consumers believe that technological innovation is crucial to providing healthy food and drink in the future. However, 46% view food innovation as ‘risky’ and fear for the health implications of the same innovations. This dichotomy highlights that the challenge of scaling new food innovations extends beyond technology into consumer acceptance and education. With this in mind, the hub will include cross-disciplinary research within marketing strategies, consumer behaviour, and emerging trends. The work in this field aims to provide market leading understanding of consumer perception and branding, alongside addressing the technical obstacles facing alternative protein producers.

Micael Simonsson, director, processing development & biotechnology at Tetra Pak says: “Tetra Pak is committed to creating healthy and sustainable food products with the help of cutting-edge technology, both by improving and optimising existing processes and investigating new options for food production.”

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