Firmenich establishes Scientific Advisory Board to guide research and development strategy
Firmenich, the world’s largest privately owned perfume and taste company, today announces its new Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which includes leading independent scientists who will help guide the Group’s research and development strategy.
Meeting regularly, the SAB provides world-class insight into the development of fields of science, including biotechnology, neuroscience, materials science, artificial intelligence and health, identifying potential new business opportunities. The SAB also reviews the Research portfolio to provide strategic input into differentiating focus areas for Firmenich.
The seven members of the SAB are:
Patrick Aebischer(Chairman), former president EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne
Markus Antonietti, Professor; Director of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (GER)
Regina Barzilay, Distinguished Professor for AI and Health, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Dept., MIT (USA)
Antoine Firmenich, Member of the Firmenich Board of Directors; CEO & Managing Director of Aquilus Pte Ltd
Chaitan Khosla, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Stanford University (USA)
Richard Ridinger, Member of the Firmenich Board of Directors; former CEO of Lonza
“The new SAB reinforces a legacy of high-level scientific collaboration by Firmenich that extends from 1939 Nobel Chemistry Laureate Leopold Ruzicka to multiple research partnerships with prestigious institutions today,” said Firmenich CEO Gilbert Ghostine. “The SAB brings additional insight from the leading edge of science that can help us identify future opportunities and open the next chapters of innovation in perfume and taste for the benefit of our customers.”
“I am thrilled that such eminent scientists with track records of breakthrough discovery are enthusiastically sharing their knowledge of scientific and technological trends with us,” said Chief Research Officer Sarah Reisinger. “They bring tremendous inspiration and advice to our R&D team and we are all looking forward to the impact the SAB will have on the future direction of our research.”
Firmenich’s R&D division, which comprises six global research centers, also works closely with a network of open innovation partners worldwide to develop distinctive ingredients and technologies. They range from dynamic start-ups and companies to renowned academic research institutes and advisors.
Firmenich Moves to Majority Ownership of ArtSci to Capitalize on High-Growth Chinese Taste Market
Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, today announces that it has increased its equity stake in strategic partner ArtSci Biology Technologies (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd (“ArtSci”) moving to majority ownership, subject to registration by local authorities. ArtSci and Firmenich have been strategic partners since 2019, when Firmenich took a minority equity stake. This move will further strengthen Firmenich’s ability to serve the rapidly growing Chinese local market and extend its geographic reach across China. ArtSci will continue to operate as normal, with its management team remaining in place and fully committed to serving ArtSci customers.
“Firmenich is committed to investing and growing in China following our decades’ long commitment to this key market,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich. “I am delighted to announce that we have moved to majority ownership of ArtSci in our established strategic partnership, which will open up new avenues of growth as we continue to combine ArtSci’s intimate understanding of Chinese customers, geographic reach and agility, with Firmenich’s innovation capabilities, consumer insights and unparalleled product quality.”
“We are proud of the achievements of our strategic partnership with ArtSci, which combines their local expertise and agile business model with our industry-leading technology, creation and manufacturing,” said Paul Andersson, President, Firmenich China, “ArtSci is a dynamic and entrepreneurial company, and we are excited to move to the next phase of our partnership to better serve the rapidly growing Chinese market.”
“Firmenich is a highly valued strategic partner, and we look forward to the next step in our journey, as we continue to work with them and combine our passion for innovation and customer service, to meet the evolving needs of consumers in China,” said Wang Ying, Chairman, ArtSci.
China is a key strategic market for Firmenich, with compelling structural dynamics that will drive future growth opportunities for the Group. Firmenich has been investing consistently for more than 30 years to expand its footprint and capabilities in China. Recent investments include Firmenich’s largest flavor manufacturing plant in the world, opened in Zhangjiagang in 2019, and the company’s first sensorial co-creation center in Guangzhou, opened in 2021, to respond with agility to local customer demands for tailored fragrance and health-conscious taste solutions. Firmenich has a nationwide presence of commercial facilities, with application laboratories in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, Kunming and Zhangjiagang, and a major research center in Shanghai.
Firmenich and Leading Dignitaries from Switzerland and Dubai Inaugurate State-Of-The-Art Creation & Development Center At Dubai Science Park
Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, has inaugurated its new regional hub today at Dubai Science Park, the region's leading science-focused community. The newest Creation & Development Center further expands the company’s science and innovation capabilities through cutting edge technologies to service customers in more than 60 countries across the Middle East and Africa region. The 3,500-sqm area comprises a state-of-the-art research and science facility.
The official opening on 23 March 2022 was presided over by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Holding, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, Minister of Finance of Switzerland, and Gilbert Ghostine, CEO of Firmenich. The event was attended by H.E. Massimo Baggi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE and Bahrain, H.E. Malek Al Malek, Director General of Dubai Development Authority and Group CEO of TECOM Group, Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer of TECOM Group, Arnaud Bachellier, General Manager of Firmenich in the region, as well as Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park.
Firmenich’s advanced creation and sampling laboratory will allow the company to deliver high-quality and innovative ingredients for fine fragrances and consumer fragrances (used in body care and home care products) as well as a variety of F&B flavors designed to delight consumers in the region. The company aims to accelerate innovation and global expansion with enhanced access to key markets and evolving trends, while reducing the time to market for new products.
A first of its kind in the region, Firmenich’s facility is built upon the company’s Lab 4.0 vision of a future-proof laboratory, which aims to optimize the end-to-end flow of samples using industry best practices and is powered by artificial intelligence (AI). It includes a fully automated warehouse that can stock up to 40,000 products as well as a compounding robot connected to more than 240 ingredients that can create a fragrance sample in less than a minute.
The new facility has been fully designed to accommodate Firmenich’s future expansion plans.
On this occasion, H.E. Ambassador Massimo Baggi reflected, “Switzerland and the UAE’s long-standing bilateral relationship has been of significant economic and cultural value to both countries. We strive to enrich this partnership and continue the advancement of several sectors with the fruitful exchange of knowledge, technological resources and talent. Firmenich’s expansion in Dubai contributes to this objective and we are proud to be able to inaugurate this plant in the presence of our Finance Minister, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer. Especially, as this regional headquarter will introduce even more technologies developed in Switzerland to nurture innovation and make a greater impact by leveraging investment and scientific research.”
Gilbert Ghostine, CEO at Firmenich, commented, “Creative excellence is at the core of Firmenich’s operations, while at heart we are committed to science and innovation guided by sustainability. These key ingredients have earned us our leading position within the industry, and we are confident they will continue to fuel our growth in new avenues. The Middle East & Africa region represents a strategic expansion opportunity for our company due to its diverse markets and wealth of opportunities. Our success stems from cultivating deep insights into our consumers and their preferences, and we can think of no better location to tap into the region’s rich audiences than Dubai Science Park. The business district’s world-class infrastructure and comprehensive, science-focused community bring us closer than ever to our audiences and will empower our ambitions to curate authentic experiences suited to regional tastes.”
H.E. Malek Al Malek, said: “Our leadership has been keen on developing a flourishing science sector within the region through strategic plans and a focused vision to develop an enabling business ecosystem suited to international companies and skilled talent in the various fields of science and research and development.”
He added, “Since its inception, the Group’s Dubai Science Park has contributed to laying the foundation of a globally competitive sector and attracted leading names and the brightest minds to enhance the landscape for research and development, while boosting the country’s exports from such vital and specialised sectors. The launch of Firmenich’s new regional hub in Dubai Science Park and their success over the past decade is yet another achievement for the emirate and marks a new milestone in cementing an integrated science, R&D environment for the UAE as a whole.”