UPM and Indicatorium have signed an agreement for the international commercialization of the food freshness indicator technology developed by UPM. The food freshness indicator is a smart label that reacts to certain chemicals and helps determine whether a food product is still fresh and safe to eat. Indicatorium plans to introduce the food freshness indicator globally while the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) will finance the initial stage of the project.
The food freshness indicator is a reliable and cost-efficient label that can be easily and directly attached to food packaging. It can also be integrated with NFC or RFID technology and has several potential applications. Consumer acceptance testing has been performed for its use in poultry product packaging. It is planned to extend the product range to fish packaging and fresh cut fruit 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 bio-economy 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 WÃrtsil. 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 helped to commercialize 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.