“Collaboration with business partners from different fields is key to innovation.”Published: 22-06-2016, | Member: Coca-Cola Services
Whether it is a mobile, smartphone-operated Coca-Cola vending machine or the latest augmented-reality technology, imagination at Coca-Cola goes far beyond the world’s most famous beverage. In 2016, the multinational became a member of the Food Valley Society. “Collaboration with business partners from different fields is key to innovation,” explains Michelle Collins, External Technology Acquisition Manager at Coca-Cola’s R&D center in Brussels. “At Coca-Cola, we see these types of innovation as creating something original that adds value, supports our mission to refresh the world and inspires moments of optimism and happiness,” says Collins. “Our R&D activities are integral to achieving this.”
The company’s External Technology Assessment and Acquisition team – part of Coca-Cola’s Global R&D department – plays a key role in contributing to creating innovative products, packaging and equipment. “ETA seek out and identify the latest — and sometimes are the first to discover — technologies that the company can use”. Examples range from a mobile, smartphone-operated Coca-Cola Vending Machine that ‘dispenses drinks and smiles’ to 3M Technologies’ Light Tube Technology, Lumense Nano Sensing Technology and Merlin Mobility Augmented Reality Technology.
Coca-Cola have 9 ETA hubs across the globe connected to the Company’s six R&D centers. The European ETA Hub is located within their Brussels R&D center; the company’s second biggest after Atlanta (GA). “In Brussels we develop solutions for the European, Eurasian and African markets for all categories of drink as well as leading and contributing to global innovation initiatives”, says Collins.
Agrifood innovators “Collaboration with business partners from different fields is key to innovation,” says the External Technology Acquisition Manager. “That’s why we’ve joined the Food Valley Society. Membership gives us access to a great mix of agrifood innovators, ranging from startups to SMEs and large corporations. We are always on the lookout for new technology related to ingredients, packaging, processing and equipment.”