DuPont continues investment in open innovation to unlock the future of food

Enterprising partnership gives food companies a head start in technology


DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is accelerating its open innovation strategy to prepare food and beverage manufacturers for fast-developing trends and disruptive change. DuPont is a partner with global innovation platform Plug and Play’s Food and Beverage program in Silicon Valley, California. In early 2021, Plug and Play will open a new location in Chicago, Illinois, and DuPont will be a founding partner of the new office with direct access to the emerging technologies that will keep food and beverage companies ahead future said the company.

The source of these new technologies is talented entrepreneurial start-ups that look for support from larger corporate partners to develop and scale their businesses. By acting as an investor and mentor, DuPont will accelerate their development and bring their innovative capabilities to market faster.

A technological win-win

Birgitte Borch, global marketing leader, Food and Beverage, DuPont Nutrition and Biosciences, expects to expand the Plug and Play partnership to be a true win-win. “In recent years in particular, we have seen how disruptive change can take the established food industry by surprise. Plant-based meat and dairy offerings have proliferated fueled by new innovations driven by start-ups that are closing the gaps with traditional products,” said Borch.

“Through our partnership with Plug and Play, we were able to influence the technology focus and tap into enterprising start-ups, bringing the latest innovative technology in plant-based proteins, functional ingredients and consumer testing. As a founding partner of their program in Chicago, we will be able to expand our focus into innovative technologies in biotechnology, personalized nutrition, food safety, functional ingredients, sustainability and market analytics.”

Strong track record

Plug and Play has a strong track record as an innovation ecosystem. An early investor in Google, PayPal, and Dropbox operates more than 60 accelerator programs worldwide and in 2019 supported over 1,450 start-ups. Plug and Play’s Food & Beverage program was launched in 2017.

“We use our trend insights and market forecasts to identify the technologies that will be business critical to the food industry moving forward. Plug and Play then provides a shortlist of promising enterprises within those technology areas. The most promising candidates are invited to pitch their technologies to our business and technology teams, and discussions about potential collaboration will begin,” added Borch.

The shortlist of talented start-ups for 2021 has already been drawn up. By the middle of next year, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences Food & Beverage platform expects to have established open innovation agreements for unlocking the future of food.


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