In an effort to help drive innovation efforts for customers in the Bakery, Sweet & Savory, and Meat & Poultry segments, Corbion recently appointed three strategic innovation directors to its leadership staff.
The positions, which were created earlier this year, help Corbion generate new ideas for technologies, applications and synergistic opportunities, while guiding innovation efforts for future business strategies. Saurabh Kumar is tasked with guiding strategic innovation for the Meat & Poultry segment, while Kathy Sargent oversees innovation for Corbion's Bakery business, and Mrs. Willy van Arkel leads innovation for the Sweet & Savory segment.
"Staying ahead of the latest trends and consumer demands is a top priority for those of us at Corbion," says Kumar. "Ensuring that innovative resources are directed at the challenges and opportunities that make the greatest impact allows us to better serve the needs of our customers, now and into the future."
Much like Corbion's industry core teams, which bring together multiple functions and perspectives to promote strategic alignment, the three new parallel roles help maintain the linkage between business and innovation. Recognizing the value of collaboration, the trio frequently comes together to explore how R&D initiatives affect multiple industries and to share new insights.
"It's our job to act as the bridge between the business and R&D," says Sargent. "To do that well, it's important for us to understand the science and technical side as well as the strategies driving our respective businesses."
In a world where it can take years for an idea to go from concept to market, that type of forward-thinking partnership can make all the difference.
"Not only is it critical to make sure our investments in the development of new technologies and solutions line up with our customers' priorities, but we also have to maintain a balance of long-term, short-term and quick-win projects," says Kumar.
Making the conscious choice to let customer needs—rather than current technological capabilities—guide the business has helped position Corbion as a leader in the industry.
"We are positioned to keep one eye on developing technologies and another on new opportunities that emerge in the market," says van Arkel.