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Ceremony marks official opening of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences


Nestlé has marked the official opening of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), with a ceremony at its new building on the EPFL campus in Lausanne, Switzerland.

NIHS research aims to provide the scientific rationale for targeted nutritional medical products to help delay the onset and modify the course of health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.  Such nutrition will ultimately help to support healthy ageing.

The institute, housed at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), will focus on the areas of brain health, metabolic health and gastro-intestinal health.  The new building will allow NIHS to expand its current activities.


‘Biggest opportunities’

“Nestlé has always led from the front when developing new manufacturing processes, products and packaging as well as new ways to connect with consumers” said Paul Bulcke, Nestlé’s Chief Executive Officer, at the opening ceremony.  “What we are seeing here today is a new arm of our research capability.  One of our biggest opportunities for growth is to focus research on science-based nutritional solutions to help prevent or manage chronic diseases.

“The work of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences will strengthen our position as the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company”.


Targeting non-communicable diseases

Chronic non-communicable diseases like obesity and diabetes are highly complex.  

They are the result of a multifaceted relationship between genes, diet and lifestyle -  and the nature of this relationship is different for each one of us.  

A more targeted nutrition that takes account of these complexities requires a deeper understanding of human health and disease, right down to the molecular level.  To gain this understanding the NIHS has established leading edge capability in new technologies.


Global network

The NIHS, created in January 2011, is part of the company’s global research and development network.  Today NIHS has established expertise and research approaches such as integrated systems biology, next-generation sequencing and human genetics, as well as metabonomics, including lipidomics.

“Targeted nutrition requires ,a strong underpinning of scientific proof as well as state of the art diagnostics,” Emmanuel E. Baetge, Head of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences said at the opening ceremony.


Close collaboration

NIHS is based on the EPFL campus, which will help to continue Nestlé’s collaboration and partnership with the University. The company’s long-standing collaboration with the EPFL includes research into brain health.

It also collaborates with the Nestlé Research Center, also based in Lausanne.

The work of the NIHS will support product development for Nestlé Health Science, a Nestlé subsidiary, also established in January 2011, which offers nutritional solutions for people with specific dietary needs related to illness, disease or the challenges of different stages of life.


Capabilities worldwide

The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences paves the way for a new element in Nestlé’s R&D approach to nutrition, health and wellness. In June, the company opened a Clinical Development Unit in Lausanne, Switzerland. In August, Nestlé announced an addition to its Product Technology Centre in Konolfingen, Switzerland, which focuses on the development of infant formula, dairy products and medical nutrition. In November, the company will open a new Research & Development Centre in Manesar, India.

At the opening ceremony Nestlé’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke was joined by Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestlé and Emmanuel E. Baetge, Head of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences.

Mr Alain Berset, Federal Councillor, Department of Home Affairs of Switzerland and Philippe Leuba, Cantonal Councillor for the Swiss canton of Vaud, and Patrick Aebischer, Head of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), were guests of honour.

Werner Bauer (Nestlé CTO) and Luis Cantarell (President and CEO of NHSc) also attended.

Related information:
Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences website
Nestlé Research Center website

Read more about Nestlé’s research and development:
Nestlé opens new unit to centralise global clinical development work
Nestlé steps up its research and development in Switzerland
Nestlé Health Science S.A. and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences established to target new opportunity between food and pharma