Food freshness indicatorIndicatorium to commercialize UPM’s innovationUPM and Indicatorium have entered into an agreement for the international commercialization of the food freshness indicator technology developed by UPM. Food freshness indicator is a smart label that reacts to certain chemicals and helps to determine whether a food product is still fresh and safe to eat. Indicatorium is aiming to introduce the food freshness indicator to the global markets. The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) will finance the initial stage of the project.
Jyrki Ovaska, executive vice president, technology at UPMFood freshness indicator is a reliable and cost-efficient label that can be easily attached directly to food packaging. It can also be integrated with NFC or RFID technology, and it has several potential applications. Consumer acceptance testing has been performed for the use of the food freshness indicator in poultry product packaging. Next we are planning to extend the product range to fish packaging and fresh cut fruits and vegetables. “Food freshness indicator offers clear financial and competitive advantages to our customers, and it reduces the amount of food waste,” says Tomi Siimes, managing director at Indicatorium.
“The Innovation Mill programme funded by Tekes is a great way for UPM to find partners to commercialize ideas and patents that are outside our key competence areas. We are constantly looking for innovative partners for cooperation on bioeconomy projects and the utilization of by-products, developing new business models and utilizing patents that would otherwise be neglected,” says Jyrki Ovaska, executive vice president, technology at UPM.
This agreement is UPM’s first commercialization project within the Innovation Mill programme, which is managed by Spinverse. Other large corporations that participate in the programme include Fortum, Nokia, Kemira, Metso, Ruukki and Wärtsilä. “Innovation Mill was originally developed with Nokia, and since then the programme has been a huge success based on both the amount of projects and their success rate. It is great that large corporations have been actively participating in the programme and can benefit from the internationally ground-breaking practices developed by it,” says Kari Tilli, service director at Tekes.
Since 2009, Innovation Mill has been involved in the commercialization of more than 100 technologies developed by large corporations, which in turn has created over 1,000 new jobs. “We are currently renewing the programme to cover the extending network of small and medium-sized enterprises and large industrial partners so that ideas and products can move in both directions,” says Pekka Koponen, CEO at Spinverse.