Oatly, the world’s largest oat drink company, has announced plans to open a new research and innovation centre at Lund University in Sweden. With the goal of further exploring the potential of oats, the centre will develop new oat-based innovations to meet the needs of consumers.
Oatly expects to add around 30 new scientists to its global team based in Lund over the coming year. The alt dairy giant has also announced the potential to onboard up to 100 new researchers across its research hubs in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is experiencing impressive growth as demand for alt dairy products explodes globally.
Making use of the unique skills and technology of Lund University’s academic environment, the Oatly scientists will study oats in greater detail from various perspectives including biochemistry, biophysics, microstructure, nutritional traits and refinement. The oat leader hopes that developments will accelerate its mission to drive a societal shift towards a plant-based food system. Construction has commenced on Oatly’s Science and Innovation Centre and is expected to be finished in 2023.
Lund University and Veg of Lund
This is not the first time Lund University finds itself at the forefront of plant-based research and innovation. One of northern Europe’s oldest and prestigious universities, the institute gave birth to plant-based innovator Veg of Lund, with the food tech recently partnering with Scandi Standard – the leading producer of conventional chicken products in the Nordic region and Ireland – to develop an innovative chicken alternative from local potatoes. Veg of Lund also created the brand DUG – the alt dairy brand famed for its potato milk.
“We’re excited to build on our strong foundation in science, research and innovation as we expand our team at Lund University,” explained Sofia Ehlde, Oatly’s Executive Vice President Food Innovation.
“For more than 25 years, we have developed great-tasting, oat-based products that have been designed for human nutrition and as a solution for a more sustainable food system. We believe this new research and innovation centre will both improve our existing products and lead to new, innovative oat-based foods,” she added.