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Lesaffre inaugurates new R&D campus

The Lesaffre Campus was officially opened in the municipalities of Marcq-en-Baroeul and Marquette-lez-Lille, the company announced on October 13. The new buildings cover a total area of 23,000 sqm, and 60% of this space is devoted to research and development (R&D). Here, Lesaffre’s customers and visitors will be able to explore the specialist’s know-how in fermentation research. With the Lesaffre Campus, the Group’s 700 employees in the Lille metropolitan area will be working together on the same 19-hectare site.

Brice-Audren Riché, Chief Executive Officer, Lesaffre, commented: “The inauguration of our Lesaffre Campus is a historic milestone in the Group’s development. This living space arose from a desire to express what we are: an innovative, eco-friendly and open-minded company that has strong local connections. It embodies the spirit of our Group, which has been working for 170 years to explore and develop the infinite potential of fermentation and microorganisms.

Inaugurating our Lesaffre Campus illustrates our aim to accelerate the research and development of innovative solutions to take up the challenge of improving food, nutrition and health for tomorrow.”

Home to innovation

By creating the Campus, Lesaffre wanted to provide the Group with a new space to match its R&D ambitions. “Fermentation is a spontaneous process initiated by microorganisms that Lesaffre has mastered industrially for the past 170 years. To further this expertise, the Lesaffre Campus is focused on innovation. The facilities it hosts will allow us to step up our research for the sectors of food and animal feed and also for health, environmental protection, energy production and industrial biotechnologies. Our R&D approach is based on these emerging state-of-the-art technologies supported by historical knowledge and especially by the expertise of engaged and passionate teams. The synergies created through this Campus, within the R&D teams and with the other business lines, will increase sharing and agility on a daily basis and will contribute to this innovation”, said Christine M’Rini Puel, Chief R&D Officer for Lesaffre.

The Lesaffre Group’s Research & Development Department is organized to extend from fundamental research through to the release of new products. It has 600 employees, who are spread out across 62 applied science centers distributed all over the world. Over a third of the research projects undertaken are carried out with partners, universities and start-ups. Lesaffre is currently working with more than 60 research partners. In terms of resources. In the coming years, Lesaffre intends to increase its R&D budget by 10 to 15% annually.

Based on the collaborative possibilities offered by the Campus, the Lesaffre R&D Department plans to address worldwide food and environmental challenges by developing solutions in baking, food taste, care, and industrial biotechnologies. The Campus will be used to advance work with bacteria.  

The biofoundry

The biofoundry consists of a set of robots used for the simultaneous, high-throughput, miniaturized workflows necessary to screen and analyze microorganisms and establish their profile and functional potential to accurately select them for their energy content or their fermentative, taste, nutritional or physiological properties.

This platform is combined with the other facilities at the Campus, including the analysis of genes and/or metabolites, bio-processes, and physiological models of the digestive tract. Every day, it tests thousands of targets through the use of robotics and the analysis of advanced data: it can perform 10,000 tests per day instead of 10,000 per month, Lesaffre highlights.

Photo credit: Lesaffre