Nestlé S.A. will invest $53 million to establish a new building that will expand the existing R&D facility in Solon, Ohio. The new center will be designated as a global Product Technology Center (PTC), dedicated to frozen and chilled foods research, and will serve Nestlé’s businesses worldwide.
The glass-faced facility will house offices and labs for approximately 100 scientific, professional, and technical staff. The 144,000-sq-ft building also will include a pilot plant where new recipes and the latest technologies will be tested and evaluated. Construction is expected to begin this summer and Nestlé expects the new facility to be operational in late 2014.
The decision to expand the research and development capabilities in Solon reflects the growth in size and complexity of Nestlé’s frozen and chilled food businesses.
“We are pleased that the R&D effort first established in Solon in 2001 to serve our regional needs has matured into a global Product Technology Center. We currently operate 11 Product Technology Centers around the world. PTC Solon will become the 12th of these important centers of excellence for Nestlé. Here we will establish a critical mass of technology expertise and product knowledge for our global Nestlé frozen and chilled foods business,” said Johannes Baensch, Nestlé’s Global Head of Research and Development.
Sean Westcott will serve as Director of the new PTC in Solon. Westcott, a veteran Nestlé employee, is an expert in leading product innovation, operations, and quality control teams. He replaces former Head Roberto Reniero. In March, Reniero completed his assignment in the U.S. and was named Head of PTC Lisieux in France, the Nestlé Center of Excellence for chilled dairy products and healthy drinks.