SIG, a leading systems and solutions provider for aseptic packaging, has inaugurated the first-of-its-kind innovation Technology Centre in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), in collaboration with SPX FLOW, as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations in the MEA region.
The hub was officially opened at SIG’s regional headquarters in DSO on the eve of Gulfood Manufacturing 2021 in collaboration with Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) and SPX FLOW, in the presence of Samuel Sigrist, CEO at SIG, Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi, Deputy CEO of DSO, and Gerard Lang, SPX FLOW’s vice president of Nutrition & Health Systems, alongside other senior officials.
The technology centre offers completely new opportunities for the F&B industry through innovative technologies, such as SPX FLOW’s UHT technology, which offers processing trials that will include indirect and direct heating technology, as well as vacuum mixing systems for product mixing.
It is also home for SIG Accelerator and SIGCUBATOR, two turnkey solutions that fast-track innovative ideas to market, offering support for existing customers and F&B start-ups that are looking at bringing the next blockbuster product to the market.
From ideation and design, including recipe formulation and packaging, to piloting and promotion, the four-stage process that the centre operates under fully supports existing customers and start-ups in expediting new product and packaging development at the state-of-the-art facility.
Samuel Sigrist, CEO at SIG, said: “Today’s launch of the technology centre marks a new milestone for SIG and the F&B industry in the region. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary in MEA, we are looking to lead the next era of growth and boost food and beverage innovation in the region and beyond. Together with our customers and partners, we will continue to focus on developing the sector, embedding cutting edge technology and sustainability, and creating world-class innovations.”
Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi, said: “Our partnership with SIG goes back to 2015, when they inaugurated their headquarters at DSO. Today, we are thrilled to witness SIG’s launch of the new technology innovation centre, which will act as an incubator for talent from all over the world and a global hub for launching successful ideas through creativity, technology, training, innovation, and testing. This is in line with the UAE’s vision for its next phase of growth: Projects of the 50. Our leadership has placed innovation, digital, technical, and scientific excellence at the centre of this vision and to make the country the ‘capital of the future’. SIG’s launch today supports the pillars of this vision: talent, companies, and investments in these sectors.”
For his part, Abdelghany Eladib, President and General Manager at SIG in the Middle East and Africa, said: “It comes as no surprise that the Dubai Silicon Oasis, the hub of innovation and modern technology-based industries, should host our first research and development centre in MEA. Our Technology Centre, developed with the support of SPX FLOW, will open countless opportunities for established businesses and start-ups alike. The leadership of the UAE, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, highlighted the key role of the private sector as a partner within the country’s march towards a better, stronger, and more sustainable future. SIG is proud to contribute in supporting the directives of the UAE, through innovation, technology, training, and partnering with companies that share our goal and commitment.”
Gerard Lang, SPX FLOW’s vice president of Nutrition & Health Systems, added: “We are very proud of our strategic collaboration with SIG to develop and manufacture engineered process solutions. SPX FLOW provided our UHT Pilot System, capable of processing increasingly popular products, such as dairy, grains, fruits, and even nuts to exacting specifications for the dairy and food industry and food consumers. From dairy to plant-based, F&B producers can capitalize on growth opportunities while benefitting from better plant performance, product quality and time to market.”
The SIG Technology Centre at DSO is designed to assist established F&B leaders from the region and back budding entrepreneurs looking at starting up their food and beverage businesses. Its avant-garde extrusion, innovative quality measurement system, advanced testing equipment, and future digital technology capacities allow faster development and validation of new products and packaging that meet the ever-increasing consumer demand for sustainability. The SIGCUBATOR offers the emerging F&B start-up community a lifetime opportunity of developing the perfect recipe, using SIG’s global network of ingredient suppliers, producing it at the DSO plant, and bringing it to the market without having to foot a hefty upfront bill for setting up a fully-fledged production facility.
Ahead of the opening, the Technology Centre at DSO was granted a Platinum LEED certification by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and awarded an industrial license by Dubai Municipality to produce fruit flavored drinks, fruit juices, and dairy products. Customers can take advantage of SIG’s operation and expertise to design and launch new products into the market. SIG can also co-pack products within its customers’ existing portfolio.
With two similar Technology Centres worldwide in Germany and China, the pioneering SIG complex will expand the co-development of products with existing SIG customers and speed up innovation cycles through short-run test fillings. SIG’s digital solutions will automatically track and collect all processing parameters and filling data and analyse them in an SIG Reliability Centre, providing end-to-end visibility of the product’s journey from source to shelf.
The DSO-based plant also offers Food & Beverage companies flexibility: in processing and filling, sizes, types of products, including food, beverages with and without particles using SIG’s exclusive drinksplus solution. The plant can also produce Heat&Go products that can be heated in a microwave. Plant-based beverages, milk drinks, on-the-go breakfast drinks, sauces, creams, juice with particles, and functional ambient yogurts, and others are some examples of the vast variety of products that can be produced at the Technology Centre at DSO.
Customers and shareholders will also be able to use this modern, trendy location for training and meetings.