Kitchen
Lab
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What is on offer

The NOI Techpark Kitchen Lab is a test kitchen for companies and startups working in the food industry. Equipped with the latest processing technology, the facilities can be used to develop products or produce them for test markets – independently or with the support of external experts or NOI researchers. The lab is also an ideal venue for holding workshops or tastings.

Besides the state-of-the-art cooking and workshop areas, the Kitchen Lab is home to a small specialist library and is fitted with power outlets and supply lines for special hire equipment. Seminar rooms are located in the immediate vicinity of the lab and can be used on request. What’s more, with its free Wi-Fi, good public transport links, underground car park, green spaces, the restaurant Noisteria and the Vitalbar café, which serves healthy snacks, NOI Techpark provides an excellent working environment.

You can hire the lab with its standard range of equipment, food products and hygiene items for our basic room hire fee. On top of this, you have the option to book various services – as part of a package and with the chance to benefit from attractive funding opportunities.

Space

The Kitchen Lab is 50 square metres in size and is located within NOI Techpark on the second floor of the A1 factory building in the industrial zone in the south of Bozen/Bolzano. The flexible space features a cooking and workshop area and can be hired for a range of purposes and adapted to suit your needs. Hire equipment and food products can be delivered easily via Hypatiastraße/Via Ipazia and a goods lift, and can be stored in the lab if you are hiring it for more than one day. Following a brief induction by the Tech Transfer Food Technologies team, you will be issued with an NFC key card, giving you free access to the lab for your entire hire period.

Hygiene lock

To ensure all Kitchen Lab users experience the highest possible level of food safety, everyone entering the test kitchen must pass through a hygiene lock and follow a standard hygiene procedure each time they access the room. The hygiene lock is clearly marked out on the floor. On entering it, you must take off your coat and any jewellery and put on your hygiene clothing (hair net, overshoes and apron). Then wash and disinfect your hands and forearms. Depending on the work you will be performing, the hygiene trolley may also contain other necessary items, such as disposable gloves or a cut-resistant apron.

Cooking area

The Kitchen Lab is a state-of-the-art test kitchen where you can experiment to your heart’s desire. The standard equipment found in the cooking area includes a cooking range with two electric rings and two induction rings, a blast freezer, a steamer that can be converted into a smoking chamber, two refrigerators and a freezer. The lab is fitted with various work surfaces, a large sink area as well as power outlets and supply lines for various table-top appliances. An array of appliances for cooling and heating food, measuring and analytical instruments and a wide selection of pots and pans, bowls and oven trays as well as food storage containers are also available. Small kitchen utensils and appliances can be found in the drawers and opposite the cooking range.

Workshop area

You can hire the Kitchen Lab to run workshops and seminars for up to 12 participants or you can take part yourself in one of the many workshops held here. Each workshop participant is provided with the necessary hygiene clothing and a workspace with a chopping board and chef's knife. The workbenches can also be equipped with induction plates or other table-top appliances, which can be connected to the power supply using plug sockets suspended from the ceiling. During the theoretical sessions of seminars and workshops, the workbenches can be adjusted in height and used as desks. The workshop area also features a fully adjustable visual display unit, a whiteboard, a flipchart and a workshop toolkit.

Library

The Kitchen Lab library is the ideal place for taking a short break, meeting with our experts and, of course, for perusing our wide-range of reading materials and information. Here you can find a selection of specialist literature on manufacturing processes, food safety and shelf life as well as magazines and journals shedding light on the latest trends in the food sector and in production technology. You can also be inspired by the example products on display in the library. The library also houses paper copies of all the descriptions and operating instructions of the equipment available in the Kitchen Lab.

Power outlets and supply lines for hire equipment

Do you want to generate steam pressure or connect a special bakery oven? The Kitchen Lab can even meet your needs in cases like these. With two industrial power outlets, two 220 V power outlets, a water supply line and a drain for wastewater, we have the facilities needed to accommodate many additional appliances used in the food sector. See our equipment page for detailed information about all the equipment made available free of charge as part of the lab hire agreement.
You are welcome to bring anything else you need into the lab with you. Alternatively, we can hire it for you – with attractive finance options.

Use

Experimenting with, developing and producing food products. Working alone or with experts? Learning or teaching? Tasting products or presenting your own innovations? There are virtually no limits to how the Kitchen Lab can be used.

One of the features that makes our test kitchen stand out is that it can be approved as a processing area for foodstuffs. Provided that you can demonstrate that you have the required professional qualifications and meet all the conditions, you can produce a small batch of products here to test on the market.

A unique additional service provided by the Kitchen Lab is our pool of experts who are on hand to support and advise you every step of the way as you develop your products. In addition to assisting you to book the appropriate service package, we can also help you to gain access to funding opportunities.

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

Use the Kitchen Lab to transform innovative ideas into marketable products or existing products into bestsellers! The technological equipment found in our test kitchen can be supplemented with your own or hired equipment, allowing you to turn the facilities into your own customised development lab. If required, you can choose from a large pool of experts who can support you as you manufacture your product innovations – by optimising recipes, processing methods or packaging. In our lab, you can improve your processes, compare processing options and packaging solutions, test ways of increasing your product’s shelf life or try out any other method that could make your product marketable or increase its chances of success.

Produce

If you are a producer with the qualifications needed to put food products into circulation, the Kitchen Lab has the potential to be more than just a test kitchen. You can register the NOI Techpark lab as a processing area and use it to produce foodstuffs for a test market. To do this, you need approval from the competent agencies and authorities. This requires you to notify them of your activities by completing a “DIA” registration on South Tyrol’s SUAP platform (a central registration service for commercial activities) and to compile all the documentation needed by law. You are fully responsible for the safety of the foodstuffs you produce. The Tech Transfer Food Technologies team and our experts would, however, be happy to assist you with obtaining the necessary authorisations and with putting together the requested documentation and product information.

Workshops

Do you want to find out more about innovative food production methods or share your skills with others? The Kitchen Lab is an ideal venue for knowledge transfer. Private individuals and companies alike can hire the workshop area (including presentation equipment) and the well-appointed cooking area to hold seminars or presentations. You can sound out market expectations by holding product tastings and obtaining feedback from potential customers. If you require specialists in a particular field to assist you with your events, we can pair you with members of our pool of experts.

Equipment

The standard equipment found in the Kitchen Lab is sufficient for performing all traditional cooking methods, such as boiling, baking, grinding, cooling, vacuum packing, dehydrating, sous-vide cooking or fermenting. A whole host of equipment, including an autoclave, a 3D food printer, a vacuum mixer and a smoking chamber, is also available to help users to develop innovative products. It is important to familiarise yourself in advance with how to operate the equipment properly and safely. All the information you need and a plan showing you the layout of the equipment in the lab can be found on our equipment page. QR codes leading to descriptions of the equipment are affixed to most of the facilities. You can simply scan these codes using the tablet we provide you with in the lab.

Expert support

Take your business to the next level in the Kitchen Lab and benefit from our experts’ specialist knowledge and practical skills. We can find the right expert to assist you regardless of your current stage of development. Help is on hand whether you are conducting initial brainstorming sessions or perfecting your recipe or whether you need guidance on processing methods, labelling or on how to create a process-based HACCP concept for your production run. Our specialists work closely with you in the Kitchen Lab to support you to develop a marketable product or to provide the required level of expertise during workshops or seminars. This offer is the only one of its kind in Europe and is made even more attractive by the funding options available.

Would you like to find out more about our pool of experts? Contact us today!

Equipment hire

The standard equipment found in the Kitchen Lab is sufficient for performing all traditional processing methods. See our equipment page for information about all the equipment made available free of charge as part of the lab hire agreement. If, however, the facilities on offer do not cover your particular needs, you are welcome to bring in all the equipment you require. Alternatively, we would be happy to hire equipment on your behalf and can advise you on the attractive funding options available for this. With two industrial power outlets, two 220 V power outlets, a water supply line and a drain for wastewater, we have the facilities needed to accommodate many additional appliances used in the food sector. Appliances can be easily connected to the power supply directly on the workbenches using the plug sockets suspended from the ceiling.

Analysis and hosting

While working in the Kitchen Lab, you might need access to information such as the pH level, aw level or sugar content of your product so that you can reach a decision about what steps to take next. If this is the case, you can test these parameters using the measuring and analytical instruments that we can make available to you following a brief induction. If you need analyses and reports from an accredited specialist laboratory, we would gladly support you to find a suitable lab.

Does your product need to be left in the lab for a prolonged period of time, e.g. to ferment or dry out? Or do you want to investigate its properties following a shelf-life test? If so, we would be happy to oversee this process for you by “hosting” your product for a service fee – so that you do not have to hire the lab for several days in a row.

Consumer tests

Will your product innovation, revised recipe or new packaging be accepted on the market? These crucial questions can be answered by performing sensory consumer tests using the hedonic scale. The test methods that we offer in partnership with the market research institute apollis cover the largely unconscious, emotional responses and evaluation mechanisms of consumers. This enables you to draw conclusions on the acceptance of certain food products and packaging types by consumers as well as to compare products and collect data on consumer preferences. We can offer you services tailored to your company’s size and requirements as well as advice on the funding available for consumer tests.

Rapid Innovation

Innovation thrives on new product ideas. With the "Product Innovation in 4 Days" service, we support companies in the creation and validation of prototypes. In a series of workshops over a total of four working days, companies gain the know-how they need, and with the experimental laboratories of NOI providing the appropriate facilities, to carry out market and customer analyses quickly and efficiently, to design product development processes and decision-making processes, to create prototypes of the physical product or of the business model and to obtain initial customer feedback from the market.

Advice on funding

The use of the Kitchen Lab to develop innovative food products can be funded in accordance with Provincial Law 14/2006 of the Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano. Funding applications must be submitted to the Innovation Agency (Amt für Innovation) and can include funding for room hire as well as the costs of consulting experts and advisers, hiring equipment and using other services. We would be happy to assist you with putting together your own bespoke package and with preparing your funding application.