Citrus Innovation Center Coming to Lakeland

Jim Rogers Education

In a public-private partnership, International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) will occupy citrus-related laboratory and creative space in a new building to be built at Florida Polytechnic University (FPU) in Lakeland. The Citrus Innovation Center will be financed, built, operated, maintained and owned by private entities.

Citrus Innovation Center
The Citrus Innovation Center is expected to open next year at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland.

Randy K. Avent, president of FPU, said that having a solid research partner such as IFF on campus demonstrates the university is meeting its state charter focus of helping grow the tech industry. It also marks the beginning of his vision to have a bustling research park surrounding the university.

IFF anticipates providing internships and job opportunities for FPU students, funding and collaborating on faculty research, sponsoring senior capstone projects and supporting academic programs. 

Nicolas Mirzayantz, president of the Nourish Division of IFF, said, “We are looking forward to expanding our taste and scent capabilities in citrus while leveraging the on-campus talent and expertise” of FPU.

IFF is a global corporation in food, beverage, scent, health, biosciences and sensorial experiences. It is headquartered in New York City and has creative, sales and manufacturing facilities in 47 countries.

“This cutting-edge innovation center will be a touchstone in the heart of the North American citrus belt, yet will impact IFF innovations around the globe,” said Mauricio Poulsen of IFF. Poulsen is vice president of global innovation, creation and design for IFF’s Nourish Division.”

Ryan Cos., which is based in Minneapolis, has been picked to build the Citrus Innovation Center. It will head the development, design and construction of the 28,000-square-foot center. Work is expected to begin this summer and to be completed by late 2023.

As part of the plan, Ryan’s architecture team stated that it highlighted the “ephemeral behavior of flavors and fragrances through the design of the building.”

Sources: Florida Polytechnic University and Business Observer

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