Yili founds R&D center in the Netherlands



A ceremony marking the founding of the Yili European Research and Development Center is held in the Netherlands, Feb 25, 2014. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd founded a research and development center in the Netherlands on Feb 25, 2014.

According to the announcement made by the company at the opening ceremony, the world-renowned diary giant, currently the 12th largest in the world, intends to partner with Wageningen University, a top European life sciences institute, to build the R&D center in Food Valley, where many top-level food science researchers are based.

The new center will be the largest overseas R&D center in China's diary industry. Its foundation marks another step by Yili to increase its foreign investment in countries such as New Zealand, the United States and Italy.

At the opening ceremony, which was attended by Chen Xu, Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands; Jeroen Nijland, director of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency; Geert van Rumund, mayor of Wageningen; Aalt Dijkhuizen, chairman of Wageningen University; Pan Gang, chairman of Yili Group, and more than 100 representatives from well-known universities and institutes in Europe, Yili announced its intention to carry out research in eight areas.

In his opening speech, Pan used the word "challenge" to describe why Yili had decided to establish the R&D center in Europe.

"It is not only a challenge but a huge opportunity to meet future consumer demand for dairy products. The European R&D center will be an important part of our global R&D system," said Pan.

An executive at the new center revealed that it would first carry out research into three areas –– breeding, R&D of dairy products and food safety.

Aalt Dijkhuizen, chairman of Wageningen University, delivered a speech at the ceremony in which he said that it was a great achievement by China, the world's biggest dairy market, to provide milk for a population of 1.4 billion people, one sixth of the global total.

He also expressed his pleasure at being able to partner with Yili to jointly promote the development of the global dairy industry.