Chr. Hansen ‘future proofing’ innovation might with new R&D centre

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Chr. Hansen plans new R&D facility Pic: Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects
Chr. Hansen plans new R&D facility Pic: Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects
Danish ingredient supplier Chr. Hansen has said it wants to ‘future proof’ its innovation capacity through the development of a new research and development centre.

The company revealed today (29 August) that it is expanding and developing its research and development facilities at a site north of Copenhagen. This will enable it to meet ‘increasing demand’ for natural and sustainable products.

Chr. Hansen has entered into a cooperation agreement with PensionDanmark to deliver the ‘significant expansion’ of its main office campus and R&D facilities in Hoersholm. “The partners have agreed to enter into a sales and lease back agreement which also includes construction of a new site,”​ CFO Soeren Westh Lonning told FoodNavigator.

While the exact level of investment has not been disclosed, the finance chief revealed that estimated construction costs are a ‘sizeable amount’ in the ‘double-digit millions’ of euros. The project includes the establishment of a modern innovation campus with laboratories for an additional 250 scientists.

A new application centre will also be established where Chr. Hansen can test and tailor-make ‘new and innovative’ products in a ‘realistic production environment’ together with its customers.

Supporting growth in natural and microbial solutions

The investment will support Chr. Hansen’s future growth, Lonning explained. The company is strategically focused on the markets for natural ingredients and microbial solutions, which it supplies to global food, health and agricultural industries.

“This is truly an exciting project for Chr. Hansen, which has been growing steadily over the past years,”​ Lonning said.

“With this investment we will ensure room for growth and innovation gearing ourselves for the future, which looks promising for a company that offers natural and sustainable solutions to some of world’s most important challenges such as reducing food waste, feeding a growing world population and reducing the use of chemicals.

“The new facilities will contribute to the current growth levels by providing more modern labs and application centre facilities,”​ he told this publication.

In addition, Lonning added that a ‘modern, flexible workplace’ and ‘inspiring surroundings’ will help attract the talent needed for Chr. Hansen to ‘stay at the forefront’ of the industry and progress its sustainability agenda.

“We continuously invest in R&D and expand our R&D teams. We have secured space for the growth in other locations till then and look forward to bringing the teams together when the site is complete,”​ he suggested.

“Moreover, [the facility] will contribute to strengthening our long-term position as a leading bioscience company.”

Partnering with PensionDenmark

The first ground will be broken next year, and the new buildings are expected to be finished late 2022.

Chr Hansen decided to partner with PensionDenmark because it is a 'financially strong' investor with experience developing large-scale sustainable projects. 

“At Chr. Hansen we direct our efforts to what we do best, which is developing, producing and selling natural ingredients and microbial solutions. We have a constructive dialogue with PensionDanmark and feel confident about leaving the construction project to them,”​ stated Lonning.

“We are proud that Chr. Hansen, which has been ranked as the world’s most sustainable company, has chosen us as their partner on this project. Over the past decades PensionDanmark has gathered solid experience as professional construction investor and co-developer on many large sustainable construction projects. This experience has given us the knowledge and competencies to execute special building projects together with our clients that meet their every demand,​” added PensionDenmark CEO Torben Möger Pedersen.

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