Kitchen Lab
The space for innovation in South Tyrol food industry
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Equipment, services, consulting: make your ideas marketable with us

The Kitchen Lab at NOI Techpark is a test and experimental kitchen for companies and start-ups in the food industry. Products are developed here using modern technologies or produced for test markets – independently or with external experts and NOI research teams.

Questions often arise in the middle of an experiment. Fortunately, we have a small, specialised library to help. Do you need to hire a particular piece of equipment? Then we will find you the right connection. Our Kitchen Lab offers space and technology for hands-on workshops and tastings. Would you like to host a bigger group for your presentations or lectures? Then it is best to also book the fully equipped rooms in the NOI Seminar Area.

What else? We have free Wi-Fi, convenient public transport connections, underground parking, green spaces, and a nice view to enjoy over coffee or lunch at the Noisteria café and restaurant.

You are more than welcome to book our spaces and services. Take your pick between the two basic packages:

The Standard Package or the Full Optional Package.

In the Standard Package, you have access to all standard kitchen equipment. In addition, we will provide you with a badge, laptop, user folder and safety tutorial, as well as lab clothing and access to our specialised library. Everything you need to get cooking!

With the Full Optional Package, you can enjoy all the benefits of the Standard Package, plus access to our entire range of equipment and kitchenware. We will also provide standard food items like oil and salt and essentials like cling film and parchment paper. Make yourself at home in our Kitchen Lab!

Are you looking for special services, e.g., hiring equipment? Do you need lab analyses or expert support? Luckily, it does not matter if you choose the Standard Package or Full Optional Package because you can book all our services individually.

Sometimes an event is just what you need. Do you want to cook with the participants in the Kitchen Lab? If so, please limit the group to 12. If not, there is plenty of room for 18 people with the tables removed.

Learn more about our prices and individual funding opportunities here.

Space: 50 square metres for marketable ideas

A fully-equipped, 50m² test kitchen with a cooking and workshop area are ready and waiting. You can bake, mill, flash freeze, steam, vacuum, dehydrate, ferment or 3D print food with us anytime. Hired equipment and ingredients can be easily delivered using the freight lift and stored here if you use the lab for multiple days. We know that time is of the essence: our team at Tech Transfer Food Technologies will give you a brief introduction, after which you will receive an NFC key card that gives you unlimited access to the lab during your booked period. And away you go!

Or, would you like more information before making your decision? In that case, here are five useful things to know:

Hygiene lock

Our mission is to ensure maximum food safety. Therefore, all Kitchen Lab users must pass through a hygiene lock upon entering the test and experimental kitchen. This standard hygiene procedure must be repeated each time the lab is entered. In the clearly marked hygiene area, you must remove your jewellery and excess clothes and put on protective clothing, including a hairnet, overshoes, and an apron. Then, thoroughly wash and disinfect your hands and forearms. Depending on the activity you intend to carry out, you can get disposable gloves or a puncture-resistant apron from the hygiene trolley.

Cooking area

The Kitchen Lab is equipped with the latest technology, and we want you to make the most of it. The cooking area’s basic features include a stove with two electric burners and two induction burners, a flash freezer, a steamer that can be converted into a smoker, two refrigerators and a freezer, plus several countertops, a large dishwashing area and outlets for several types of countertop equipment. And there are plenty of those to choose from, including equipment for cooling, heating, measuring, and analysing food and a wide range of pots, pans, bowls, trays, and food storage containers. If we forgot to list something, do not worry, you can most likely find whatever you are looking for in the kitchen drawers or across from the stove.

Workshop area

You can book the Kitchen Lab for workshops and seminars or participate in one of the many workshops hosted here. We will prepare the necessary hygienic clothing and a workstation with a cutting board and a cooking knife. Thanks to the overhead outlets, the worktables can be arranged with induction plates or countertop equipment. In addition, they can be lowered and used as desks for seminars and workshops. An adjustable monitor, a whiteboard, a flip chart, and a facilitator kit with supplies are also available.

How many people will you be hosting? A maximum of twelve can cook in the Kitchen Lab. If you go straight into presentation mode, there is room for 18 people when the tables are removed.

Library

Want to take a little break? Have a chat with our experts? Check out our comprehensive literature and material? In the Kitchen Lab library, you can find a selection of technical information on production processes, food safety and shelf life, as well as magazines and journals that keep you informed on trends in the food industry and production technologies. For inspiration, there are also product samples in the library. And before a piece of equipment in the Kitchen Lab drives you mad, head here to flip through the product descriptions and user manuals.

Power and supply lines

Do you have special requests? For example, do you need to generate pressurised steam or connect a particular oven for baking? We have you covered. With two high-voltage outlets (4-prong and 5-prong with 16A each) and two 220V outlets, a 3/4" connection for water supply and a 40mm drainage pipe for wastewater, we can accommodate a wide range of equipment used in the food industry.

A basic set of equipment is provided in the Standard Package. Access to our full range of equipment and kitchenware is provided in the Full Optional Package. For anything else you need, you can either bring it yourself or hire it from us and take advantage of attractive funding opportunities.

Usage: we help get you where you want to go

Develop. Produce. Host events. Do you want to work independently or with experts? Would you like to learn something or teach others? Taste products or present your own innovations? There are virtually no limits to using the Kitchen Lab. We want you to get where you want to go and reach your goals. It is good for you and good for us – a win-win situation!

Expect nothing but the best: Our test kitchen is an approved food processing area. If you have the necessary professional qualifications and meet all the requirements, you can produce a small batch of your product here and test it on the market.

Another unique additional service? The possibility to take advantage of our pool of experts who are available to support and advise you at every stage of product development. If you are interested, make sure to book the right service package and explore possible funding opportunities like the Lab Bonus.

What stage will you be entering with your product?

Experiment

Use the Kitchen Lab as a creative workshop and take part in a brainstorming session with a wooden spoon and frying pan in hand! During the early product and company development stages in particular, it is important to have rapid and inexpensive access to modern prototyping facilities. This enables you to try out lots of product versions in a short space of time and, as a result, you can avoid making expensive mistakes. The Kitchen Lab provides the ideal conditions for this. For a minimal outlay, you can experiment with different processing methods on your own or with the support of experts and try out product ideas in practice. You can access the lab as you wish with your key card and use all the equipment independently with the help of our tablet.

Develop

You can use the Kitchen Lab as a creative studio and start brainstorming among pots and pans! Especially in the early phases of product and business development, it is important to have quick and low-cost access to modern prototyping facilities. This helps lay a solid foundation for marketable products. We will do our best to support you wherever we can. You can improve your processes in our lab, compare processing options and packaging solutions, test shelf-life extension strategies or other methods to make your product market-ready and increase its market opportunities. Our test kitchen is well equipped, and you can even add your own equipment or hire what you need from us. We will provide you with a tailor-made development laboratory. If desired, you can also receive expert support in optimising recipes, processing methods and packaging.

Produce

Do you have the necessary qualifications to put food on the market? Then the Kitchen Lab has the potential to be more than just a test and experimental kitchen. All you have to do is register the lab as a processing room, and you can use it to produce food for a test market. To do so, please present the necessary professional qualifications and fulfil the legal requirements: register the activity using the DIA form on the SUAP portal, submit all the documents required by law and then obtain approval from the competent authorities. Please note that you assume full responsibility for ensuring food safety. The Tech Transfer Food Technologies team and our experts will gladly assist you in obtaining the necessary approval and putting together the required documentation and product information.

Events

Do you want to share your expertise with others or learn more about innovative food production methods? The Kitchen Lab is made for facilitating knowledge transfer through seminars and presentations. Private individuals, start-ups and companies can reserve the kitchen and workshop area – complete with the necessary presentation equipment. If you are interested in exploring market potential, you can host a product tasting to get valuable feedback from potential customers. If you are looking for a highly qualified speaker with specific knowledge, you can take advantage of our pool of experts.

Equipment: we have got you covered

The Kitchen Lab includes everything you need to perform all standard cooking methods, including equipment for boiling, baking, milling, cooling, vacuuming, dehydrating, sous vide cooking, fermenting… have we missed something? A range of equipment is also available to develop innovative products, including an autoclave, a 3D food printer, a vacuum mixer, and a smoker. You can find all relevant information and an equipment map on our equipment page. In addition, most units have a QR code that will take you directly to the product description. All you have to do is scan the code with our tablet, which is yours to use while working in the Kitchen Lab. This way, you can learn the ins and outs of the equipment before using it. Are you more of a visual learner? No problem! We also have video tutorials.

Pricing info: Our Standard Package gives you access to our basic equipment. Our Full Optional Package includes our full range of equipment. See what you need here.

Expert support

The Kitchen Lab helps you set your sights even higher by providing experts who help you achieve your goals. Take advantage of their specialised knowledge and practical know-how no matter where you are in the product development process – whether it is your first brainstorming session or you are fine-tuning a recipe. Do you need advice on processing methods, labelling, or creating a HACCP production concept for your production run? Our strength: we are committed to finding the right experts to work with you in the Kitchen Lab, help you develop a marketable product or contribute their expertise during workshops and seminars. This type of service is unmatched in Europe, and the funding opportunities make it even more attractive.

Would you like more information about our pool of experts? Give us a call!

Hired equipment

The Kitchen Lab is outfitted with all standard kitchen equipment. That means all traditional food processing methods are included. If you have special requirements, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Alternatively, you can hire the equipment you need from us. We would be happy to provide you with information about available funding for hiring equipment if you are interested. Thanks to the two high-voltage outlets (4-prong and 5-prong with 16A each) and two 220V outlets, a connection for water supply and a drainage pipe for wastewater, we can accommodate a wide range of equipment used in the food industry. All you have to do is put the equipment on a worktable and plug it into the overhead outlets.

With our Standard Package, all basic equipment is included. The Full Optional Package gives you access to our full range of equipment. Check out our prices here.

Analysis and hosting

Want to know your product’s pH level, Aw value or sugar content to help you decide on the next step while working in the Kitchen Lab? We can provide you with measuring and analysis equipment. You will even receive a short briefing, which saves time and ensures that you get reliable results. If you need analysis and reports from an accredited laboratory, we can provide you with additional support. We have a knack for finding suitable labs in no time.

What else do we offer? Maybe the work on your product takes time because – for example – it needs to ferment or dry. Or you want to investigate product properties after a shelf-life test. Luckily, you do not have to sit and wait. We will gladly supervise this process for you and “host” your product for a fixed service fee. This will save you the cost of hiring the lab for several days.

Consumer tests

Crucial questions: will your latest product innovation, revised recipe or new packaging be well-received by the market? Consumer tests focused on hedonic sensory analysis provide reliable answers to these questions. At NOI, we offer test methods that record consumers’ largely unconscious emotional responses and evaluation mechanisms. This enables you to draw conclusions on the acceptance of certain food products or packaging types and to collect product comparisons and data on consumer preferences. Of course, we will customise and adapt our services to your company’s size and needs and advise you on financial support options for consumer tests.

Pi Innovation

Innovation thrives on new product ideas. Do you have an idea in your mind? Wonderful. Need a nudge? We help you get started - just add the NOI Pi Innovation service to your Kitchen Lab package. In five steps we support you in the development and validation of prototypes. A workshop over four working days provides you and your team with compact know-how to efficiently conduct market and customer analyses and design product development and decision-making processes. You work with the Kitchen Lab team to create prototypes of your product and receive initial customer feedback from the market. In a nutshell: this is where to go if you want to explore, create, and validate prototypes or make business models. It is that simple.

Advice on funding

If you plan on using the Kitchen Lab to develop innovative food products, you are eligible to apply for funding from the Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano under Provincial Law 14/2006. Funding applications must be submitted to the Office for Innovation (Amt für Innovation). They can include room hire fees and expenses related to hiring equipment, experts and consultants and other services. Not quite sure what to do? We would be happy to help you prepare your package and funding application.

Handy hint: the Lab Bonus is valid for using the laboratories at NOI. The lab voucher covers up to €15,000 of your research costs.