Yili’s capability in technological innovation


Through the years, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd (Yili Group) has given its priorities to technological innovation.

Triple-level R&D system

Yili Group, China's largest dairy producer, is a pioneer in establishing a triple-level research and development (R&D) system. The first level is an R&D platform specializing in combining production, education and scientific research. 

The second level is an innovation platform engaging in the predictive study of product technology, nutrition, quality, safety and customer needs. 

And the third level is the technology and research development into organizing business divisions and involves the study and control of existing product technologies and the quality safety of raw and auxiliary materials. 

Technology R&D platforms

Through years of development, the group has established a number of technology R&D platforms, including a "national enterprise technology center", a "national and local joint engineering research center for dairy products processing technology", a "national professional sub-center of dairy products processing technology research and development", a "secretariat of national technical committee for standardization of frozen drinks", a "national technology innovation demonstration base", a "national talent introduction demonstration base", a "Ministry of Agriculture test station for modern agricultural technological systems and functions", an "Inner Mongolia autonomous region dairy technology institute", an "Inner Mongolia enterprise key test station for dairy product deep processing technology and dairy product safety", a "Yili Group postdoctoral research center", and a "Yili Group maternal and infant nutrition research center".

The 16,000-square-meter innovation center, with an investment of more than 500 million yuan ($73.74 million), is the group's core R&D center. It is also China's first incubator and accelerator for the transformation of dairy scientific research achievements, involving product development and improvement, R&D and improvement of technology and equipment, research of product nutrition and function, quality control, detection method development, sensory organ study, and safety assessment of raw material and products. 

The innovation center not only provides services for Yili Group, but also offers strong support for regional and industrial development, promoting the development of the dairy industry chain. 

Yili Group continues to develop original products and technologies, establish a technology R&D system suitable for future development and attract a large number of talents in dairy R&D from home and abroad. 

Technical personnel

Currently, it has 940 high- and mid-level technical personnel, 16 employees with doctorates, 160 with master's degrees, two experts enjoying the special allowance of the State Council and five foreign experts. 

By the end of 2015, the technical group has taken part in setting 29 national standards, six local standards and three industrial standards. It owns 3,628 domestic registered trademarks, 642 overseas registered trademarks, 1,835 domestic patents including 413 patents for innovation, 437 for utility models and 985 design patents, five well-known trademarks and seven renowned trademarks. 

The group's patent protection covers the fields of liquid milk, milk powder, yogurt, cold drinks and raw milk. It has undertaken eight national science and technology projects, three regional major projects and two regional strategic and emerging projects, and one key science and technology project in Hohhot. 

The group won second prize in the "national science and technology progress award", first prize in the "China agriculture science and technology award", first prize in the "All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce science and technology progress award", a "national outstanding patent award", a China Trademark Award, first prize in the "Inner Mongolia autonomous region science and technology award", and first prize in the "Hohhot science and technology progress award". It has also won several foreign awards, such as IDF, GDP and SIAL CHINA Innovation.

"Going out and Bring in"

Yili Group continues to carry out the concept of "going out and bringing in" . In recent years, it has been striving to improve its internationalization level by setting up factories in foreign countries, establishing a global industry chain and improving its global R&D system. With the implementation of a "global netting" strategy, Yili has developed a network comprising a global resource system, an innovation system and a market system. 

By establishing this network, Yili can make good use of global raw materials and employ more talented personnel, to provide better services for Chinese customers, promote the construction of green production of agricultural and animal products, processing and export in Inner Mongolia, to enter the "global top five dairy enterprises", and to make more contributions to economic and social development.