The Global Innovation Center (GIC) is driven by a deep exploration of outside-the-box ideas, and a culture of challenging assumptions and intensive problem solving. It is structured around four foundational pillars:
1. SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
With an eye to the future, the Science and Research pillar determines emerging technologies, processes and products by testing concepts, building knowledge and transforming trials to prototypes. Our studies are broken into six platforms:
A. Fundamental studiesUnderstanding the very basics of our raw seafood materials and how to best preserve their original qualities. Does the geographic origin of tuna make its properties unique? How do post-harvest techniques alter shelf-life and quality?
B. Health & wellnessIdentifying the nutritional benefits of seafood and the technological advancements to more effectively extract nutrients like proteins and fats for consumer health and wellness. These nutrients are used in our Marine Ingredients, ‘Value-Added’ and PetCare products.
C. Processing technologyDeveloping technological advancements to improve our production processes and packaging – benefitting our bottom line, our product quality and the environment.
D. Co-productsMaximizing the utilization and value of our catch by leveraging high-nutrient byproducts for our B2B Marine Ingredients products, which are ultimately used in items such as supplements.
E. Sensory researchExamining worldwide consumer trends and consumption behaviors to inform product development, ensuring our products reflect localized sensory preferences such as aroma, flavor and texture.
F. ShrimpOptimizing shrimp harvesting techniques and production. Our aim is to yield higher value shrimp and shrimp co-products that are environmentally and socially responsible and aligned with consumer desires and health needs.
2. TECHNOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT
The Technology and Development (T&D) pillar designs products for market. T&D assesses outputs from the Science and Research pillar, ensuring scalability and adjusting to maintain expected qualities and value during commercialization.
3. Innovation Support
Facilitating and guiding the GIC’s operations, the Innovation Support pillar is comprised of:
A pilot plant for testing innovations in semi-manufacturing scale.
A sensory team globally distributed so products take into account localized consumer preferences like smell, appearance and taste.
A worldwide regulatory compliance team to ensure emerging innovations follow international, regional and local laws.
A stage-gate process to facilitate idea generation, determine the most promising investments, minimize risk and maximize potential.
A knowledge management team to document trials and secure patents to protect intellectual property.
Providing global business analysis, marketing and deployment expertise, the Commercialization pillar bridges the gap between the GIC and regional brands. Our team ensures deployment from the lab to market is localized, timely, cost-effective and overall successful.
After leading food science R&D both at a U.S. university and major multi-national institutions for more than 30 years, I am incredibly excited to be shifting the future of the global seafood industry with Thai Union. We are determined to translate our investments into tangible benefits to customers, consumers, shareholders and the global society.
– Dr. Pavinee Chinachoti, Research Platform Leader,
Global Innovation, Thai Union