Just between us: Danone reaffirmed its commitment to the region by inaugurating In’Cube

Present at Paris-Saclay for nearly 20 years and a partner of Paris-Saclay SPRING, Danone is one of the region’s largest and most pioneering companies. Recently, the company reaffirmed its commitment to the region by inaugurating In’Cube, a research and innovation center open to all the excellence of the Paris-Saclay ecosystem. We spoke with Eric Dugre, Senior Site Director of the Daniel Carasso Global Research & Innovation Center, and Sara Thompson, Director of Strategic Partnerships in Research & Innovation at Danone Nutricia Research, to learn more about In’Cube and the company’s approach to Paris-Saclay SPRING.

An open, welcoming research center

Designed to remain open to Paris-Saclay’s vibrant ecosystem, the In’Cube building includes spaces for welcoming external innovators, in addition to Danone employees. In this way, the company plans to continue building bridges with the world-class academic ecosystem at Paris-Saclay, notably by partnering with innovative players who align best with the company’s business challenges and vision for the future.

A hub of agri-food excellence

The In’Cube building is also a tremendous showcase for Danone’s advanced capabilities as a key player in the agri-food industry. It comprises several laboratories with unique equipment, including a rare 3,500 m2 “pilot plant”, as well as a 450 m2 space dedicated to welcoming consumers and understanding their consumption patterns. It will soon add an additional space where members of the Paris-Saclay ecosystem can meet with Danone researchers around key themes: the food revolution, plants, health & nutrition, etc.

A greener future, today

In’Cube also embodies the company’s “One Planet, One Health” approach, notably through its environmental attributes: connection to the Paris-Saclay heating and cooling network, solar panels and a rainwater recovery system. The goal behind all these green initiatives is to ensure the lowest possible environmental impact for the building.

AgriFood: a dynamic sector at Paris-Saclay

Paris-Saclay is home to many AgriFood players: Danone, AgroParisTech and other major players. “All the ingredients are here for the sector to continue to grow at Paris-Saclay, especially when combined with all the energy displayed at events like SPRING”, tells Eric Dugre. For this reason, Danone intends to serve as the ambassador of AgriFood at Paris-Saclay, fostering connections between all the sector’s players, as well as other stakeholders on campus.

Paris-Saclay SPRING is a stunning showcase for the AgriTech and FoodTech sectors for all players in the region, while also fostering institutional and entrepreneurial connections, especially through

the SPRING 50 competition. 

Sara Thompson, Director of Strategic Partnerships in Research & Innovation at Danone Nutricia Research

A healthy future for FoodTech 

As Danone works to combine new consumer patterns and preferences with the challenges of the sustainable transition, it intends to capitalize on FoodTech to produce quality products originating from sustainable agriculture that also use fewer resources. Notably through a partnership with Genopole, the company is working on biotechnologies at its lab to explore the growing health dimension within the AgriFood industry.

SPRING 50: a hotbed of innovation 

At Paris-Saclay Spring, Eric Dugre is most excited to see passionate entrepreneurs who are firmly committed to their projects. Of course, Danone will be on the lookout for new ideas that may represent key opportunities for its own activities. Its objective is to combine the innovative energy of startups with the company’s rigorous expertise to push the industry even faster and further into the future.

A world of possibilities 

Another key advantage of Paris-Saclay Spring: variety. Though Danone is focused on FoodTech, the SPRING 50 competition will feature pitches from entrepreneurs in a wide array of fields and activities, which in turn allows Danone to reflect more broadly on the options and opportunities that it may one day integrate into its own business.

Stay in touch

Jérémy Hervé
Head of Innovation & Economic Development

Speaks : French, English, Japanese and Spanish

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