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.