Roquette America, Inc. in 2011 unveiled its multimillion-dollar world-class Customer Innovation Center, located in Geneva, Illinois. This 30,000 square-foot facility offers the ideal environment to encourage open learning and facilitate collaborative efforts to enhance existing products and design new prototype products or line extensions.

The modern building incorporates the latest in planning and design for environmentally friendly structures, as Roquette built the Innovation Center to acquire LEED Silver certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the nationally accepted benchmark for high-performance green buildings.

“We find we’re attracting find minds from around the world to process ideas and offer application insight in this uniquely structured facility.”

Friendly with a customer-centric design, the Customer Innovation Center offers complete and complementary facilities that will cover the entire product development cycle from benchtop to pilot-scale production. “Our intent is to bridge the gap between science and consumer trends, to answer the question, ‘What does the consumer need and want, and how can we increase our customer speed to market?’” says Fernando Arias, Roquette America Commercial Vice President.

All the tools are in place including state-of-the-art laboratories, the Roquette® University auditorium, a culinary demonstration kitchen, pilot facility and designated meeting rooms for brainstorming and planning sessions. Customers can troubleshoot a single issue or walk through the entire product development cycle. They can pair up with teams from Roquette who help factor in plant operations and best formulary practices in addition to current regulatory affairs to reduce cycle time to market.

Ample space provides an environment where teams working together can find solutions to solve issues along the spectrum of the product development cycle, from a concept in its infancy, to line extensions, portfolio gaps or reformulations and subsequent repositioning.

Far beyond solely focusing on food processing, the Innovation Center enables research and development in the nutrition, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and bio-chemical market segments. The Human Nutrition Kitchen has a special focus on chocolate, confectionery, bakery and snacks and bars. Other services available include analytical and powder technology. 

Roquette positioned the Innovation Center near a major global transportation hub, Chicago’s O’Hare airport. “We find we’re attracting fine minds from around the world to process ideas and offer application insight in this uniquely structured facility,” continues Fernando Arias.

Roquette® University takes advantage of a global community by offering education seminars for a variety of markets with courses from Roquette scientists, culinary demonstrations and information on regulatory affairs and market trends.

“We’re melding together theory with best practice in one facility to provide tomorrow’s market solutions today,” says Fernando Arias. “The global economy poses an environment of fierce competition where performance needs to balance with price and products have to stay one step ahead of the trends. We aim to provide our customers the competitive edge to succeed.” FFI

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