The Nestlé R+D Accelerator program invites internal scientific and technological intrapreneurs and external innovators such as startups and students to bring food and beverage innovations to the market fast. The program is part of Nestlé’s global R+D Accelerator network which was launched in 2019 to encourage innovation by providing full access to Nestle’s R+D infrastructure and the expertise of its scientists and engineers. The recently opened Lausanne R+D Accelerator was conceived as the global mothership, paving the way for a network that will consist of 14 Accelerator sites in 9 different countries worldwide by the end of 2022. Studio Banana collaborated with Brönnimann & Gottreux Architectes and Nestlé R&D to realize its vision to welcome new talent and guide it through the journey towards innovation that is the Acceleration program.
Located at the heart of the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley, the Lausanne R+D Accelerator is the industry’s largest accelerator in Lausanne, covering a 4000 m2 sophisticated innovation ecosystem, where up to ten different teams can steer their projects from inception to testing simultaneously. The user experience succeeds in striking the perfect balance between collaboration (opening up the nest, inviting partners in, working together), confidence (a safe environment to test and learn, access to best-in-class science) and confidentiality (working on projects that require privacy and seclusion/scientific data protection).
This is achieved through a careful combination of co-working stations, prototyping kitchens and mini-production facilities, including start-up pods and workrooms around the periphery of the space that afford more intimate project work and real-market test conditions and a buzzing open campfire at the core, harmoniously inviting knowledge sharing and idea exchange.
The Nestlé R+D team and Studio Banana designers, architects, and business transformation experts embarked on a journey to uncover the underlying drivers behind the project. Chief among them was the idea of providing a space to boost creativity and allow teams to explore and test in a safe environment with both physical and virtual resources at hand. It was also crucial to provide distinct experiences for visitors and participants, uniting them at heart through the innovations developed and celebrated in the Accelerator’s programs.
Ideation & design
We are exploring Terra Nova. Akin to the scientific and entrepreneurial expeditions undertaken within, the Accelerator’s spaces pay homage to the adventures and quests of explorers, scaling the terrain and making their discoveries across newfound lands and seas.
To represent the innovation and community values of this new accelerator, Studio Banana imagined the mesh –a purpose-created visual identity made up of several dozen elements dynamically articulated to compose together a shape in constant movement.
Taking inspiration from nature, a sharp typography combines yellow and coral on the logo to expresses the dynamism of the new brand while the traditional “Oak Nestlé” colour connects the Accelerator to its origins as part of Nestlé.
The physical environments
“The Dockyards” is an agile intersection area where teams can work together and test ideas quickly, while exposure to confidential information is controlled. Designed to accommodate small working groups, this space, which can be closed with curtains, includes mobile furniture and collaborative multimedia technology.
The Kiosk allows internal and external users to showcase, through physical and digital (VR) means, the flavors of tomorrow, the development of sustainable packaging and new ways to reach the consumer.
The Campfire is the heart of the Accelerator. Its concentric design, further reinforced with a spectacular skylight above, invites the community to convene, pitch, exchange and celebrate.
The Learning Center is a highly modular, versatile place where project teams can have breakout working sessions or can be easily reconfigured to host training sessions with external experts.
The Nestlé R+D Accelerator in Lausanne stands as a mothership of innovation, leading the way for numerous other Nestlé Accelerator sites around the world. It offers a coherent and exciting user experience from website to work environment to product testing and presentation. It hosts the future in nutrition and food innovation, in a collaborative environment designed to foster creativity and new ways of thinking and experiencing food products.