Danisco claims a leading position in the enablers, functional systems, sweetners, bio-preservation and feed enzyme markets, and a number 2 position in texturisers, starter cultures, food enzymes, and technical enzymes. In recent years its R&D spend has outstripped the food industry average of 3 per cent. In 2009/10 it was around DKK880m, about €118m at today’s exchange rates – over six per cent
The company declined to comment on whether the funding will bolster its existing R&D budget, and what exactly it will be used for. A spokesperson said it does not usually communicate on the source of its R&D funding. The company is currently in its ‘quiet period’ before release of its half year results to be released this Thursday.
However Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for Denmark, gave some indications in a statement issued by the bank following the signing of the loan agreement.
“The operation we are signing will improve the quality and safety of food,” he said. “It aims to contribute to the company’s more efficient use of raw materials in food production and limit losses in food production.”
EIB said Danisco’s research program is in line with the objectives of the European Union’s “food for life” platform under the 7th framework programme, which revolve around developing an environmentally friendly production and distribution chain.
Danisco CEO Tom Knutzen said in the statement: “Danisco is more dedicated than ever to addressing global challenges through research and development.”
“The dramatic increase in the world's population is far reaching in terms of food reliability, access to reliable energy supplies and climate change complexities. We need to adopt a more sustainable way of life and this loan supports Danisco's efforts to bring new products and solutions to the market.”
The EIB has also said it will finance Novozymes projects in enzymes, novel proteins and micro-organisms at Novozymes.
“With activities that are solidly in line with the European Union’s objectives of strengthening the knowledge economy, the company improves industrial processes with technology that replace conventional chemicals, improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental impact,” said the EIB.