IFF and Florida Polytechnic University (Florida Poly) laid the foundation for the forthcoming Citrus Innovation Center, located on the university’s campus in Lakeland, Florida.
The nearly 30,000-square-foot building is designed to support global citrus research and development, and will include sensory and experience venues, research labs, processing, analytical departments, a fully equipped citrus garden and amenities for hosting customers and partners. The building is designed, engineered and constructed by Ryan Companies and slated for completion in late 2023.
IFF will be the first company located on Florida Poly’s campus. The company anticipates providing hands-on internships and job opportunities for Florida Poly students in areas of research and development, customer experience, supply and operational coordination and entrepreneurship. Additionally, IFF will support the university through funding and collaborating on faculty research, sponsoring senior capstone projects, and supporting academic programs.
Nicolas Mirzayantz, president, Nourish Division, IFF, said, “What an honor to celebrate this beacon for innovation and excellence, that is a perfect blend of science and creativity. As we lay the foundation for a global citrus innovation center, we reaffirm IFF’s commitment to invest in R&D capabilities that unlock the development of innovative solutions for our customers, partners and communities we operate in. This facility represents a significant milestone in our cross-divisional citrus strategy. Here, we will accelerate innovation by combining the expertise from our Nourish and Scent divisions with on-campus talent who are just as committed to pushing the boundaries of science and uplifting the citrus industry as a whole.”
Christophe de Villeplée, president, Scent Division, IFF, said, “IFF holds a leading position in R&D investment. This cutting-edge facility represents one more way we’re combining creativity and science, working closely with our partners and customers. Citrus extracts are an essential component of our creations, bringing consumers delightful freshness. By building a transformational, holistic citrus development ecosystem in one of the world’s central citrus locations, we will further deepen our knowledge, and facilitate the creation of differentiated citrus products that delight global food, beverage and fragrance customers, while doing more good for people and planet."
Randy K. Avent, president of Florida Poly, said, “We are proud that IFF recognized the strategic advantage in partnering with our university. Our students and faculty are making real contributions in growing the tech industry by influencing the designs of pioneering technologies and real-world solutions. We’re excited about the cross-disciplinary learning opportunities for our students through this partnership in fields such as metabolomics, automation, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and biometric data capture and analysis, to name a few.”
Linaea Floden, regional director of Architecture for Ryan A+E, said, “The ethereal nature of the design concept was challenging, however Ryan was able to successfully create a dynamic, unique architectural expression that reflects the nature of the work being done within the facility, while complementing the existing architecture on the campus.”