Monash Uni strikes historic agreement with China’s biggest food company

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th October 2016

Victorian Government Minister for Industry and Employment, The Hon. Wade Noonan MP (far right), with Elesha Kelly and Daryl Thomson from the Food Innovation Centre at Monash. This was taken in Monash University's world-leading immersive visualisation space, Cave 2. The facility will enable companies to visualise their products on the market shelves in both Asia and Australia. Image Credit: Greg Ford.

Monash University has struck a historic agreement with the Nutrition and Health Research Institute (NHRI), part of China’s biggest food company, the COFCO Corporation.

It is the first agreement signed by COFCO’s NHRI and an Australian organisation. The deal will see Monash University’s new multi-million dollar Food Innovation Centre enter into a strategic partnership with COFCO NHRI, as part of its overall food and agricultural innovation strategy.

Under the agreement, which is aimed at boosting exports to China, the Food Innovation Centre will have access to COFCO NHRI’s technical resources, knowledge on Chinese consumers, regulatory expertise and market delivery platforms.

The Food Innovation Centre at Monash was today formally opened by the Victorian Government Minister for Industry and Employment, The Hon. Wade Noonan MP.

The centre provides Australian food companies with access to technology and product development services including computer aided design and research capabilities in food chemistry, packaging design and ethics.

President and Vice Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the Food Innovation Centre is opening at a crucial time for Australian businesses trying to meet Asia’s growing food demand.

“Monash now looks forward to using our world-class capabilities to provide Australian food producers – growers and manufacturers – with a competitive edge,” Professor Gardner said.

“Our University will be establishing an elite food industry focused PhD program and investing in large scale infrastructure across campus, including a multi-million-dollar space for food product development, innovation incubation support for SMEs, and industry-university collaboration within Monash’s state-of-the-art $80m Green Chemical Futures building,” she stated.

The Monash centre incorporates the technical assets and resources of Mondelez International’s former Ringwood based Food Innovation Centre.

One of the technological services on offer at the centre is an immersive visualisation space, Cave 2, which will let food companies see what their products would look like on supermarket shelves both within Australia and Asia.