The firm has joined forces with the Holck-Larsen Foundation to invest 2m Danish Krone (€268,720) in the programme, which is the first of its kind between the two countries. The funds will be managed by the Technical University of Denmark and Aarhus University.
“The program covers all aspects of industrial biotechnology including our use of enzymes for food and food processing," Per Falholt, executive vice president and head of research & development (R&D) at Novozymes told Food Navigator. "We are very interested in extending the use of enzymes and microorganisms in Indian food production and processing of Indian agricultural crops and biomass."
India presented new opportunities in the food and beverages industry due to its growing middle class population and new Food Safety & Standards Act, which is expected to be in line with international best practices, said Novozymes.
“With many, many excellent universities, India has a large population of talented scientists. At the same time Novozymes has a need for talented scientists with a global mindset," Falholt said.
“Denmark also educates excellent biotechnologists, who could benefit from going on an international assignment to give them a more global perspective. My dream is to connect Indian and Danish science in the field of biotechnology."
“This is why we're establishing this scientist exchange programme to provide funds to send scientists off on an educational international assignment. I'm sure the programme will benefit both our countries and Novozymes.”
Talented food scientists
The company already has a significant business in India with more than 400 employees and has invested in an R&D facility in Bangalore. It said it hoped the new initiative will also entice talented food scientists in the country to join its global operations.
The programme will run from 2013 to 2019, and each year it will allow 25 scientists to participate in exchange visits between India and Denmark. Contracts were signed for the initiative yesterday.
The Holck-Larsen Foundation was established by the Danish-Indian engineer Henning Holck-Larsen who, together with fellow engineer Søren Toubro, founded the Indian company Larsen & Toubro in 1938.
Aside from its work on food ingredients and solutions, covering almost every area of food and drink manufacturing, Novozymes is active in several industrial fields, including bioenergy, biopharma, pulp & paper and textiles.