Construction of the new 144,000sq ft product technology center (PTC) - which will house pilot facilities, offices and labs for 100 scientific, professional and technical staff - is expected to begin this summer, while it should be operational in 2014.
Located “in a park-like setting off of Solon's Cannon Road”, staff at the PTC will be tasked with driving the latest innovations at brands such as Stouffer's and Lean Cuisine prepared meals and snacks, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets sandwiches, Buitoni refrigerated pastas and sauces; Nestlé Toll House refrigerated (and in test, frozen) cookie dough, plus the Digiorno, California Pizza Kitchen, Tombstone and Jack's frozen pizza brands.
Chefs, food scientists, nutritionists and operations experts working side-by-side
It will be headed up by Sean Westcott, head of product technology for frozen and chilled, and an expert in leading product innovation, operations and quality control teams.
Westcott replaces Roberto Reniero (now head of the chilled dairy and healthy drinks PTC in Lisieux, France), who led the team that gained rezoning approval for the site in 2011, and designed it to comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
"Our chefs, food scientists, nutritionists and operations experts work side-by-side with the various Nestle businesses we support to create foods that are more delicious, wholesome and satisfying”, said Westcott.
The world’s largest food and beverage R&D network
The PTC will join other major Nestle facilities in Solon, including Nestle Prepared Foods Company, which employs more than 1,900 in its offices and production facility.
Nestle employs more than 5,000 people in its global R&D network in 34 R&D facilities (three Science & Research centers and 31 PTCs and R&D centers) and 300 application groups.