Vevey-based global food behemoth Nestlé revealed this week that the Venture Capital Fund that was outlined during its 2001 autumn press conference has now been created and is fully operational.

The Swiss domiciled fund, Life Ventures by Nestlé, will have a capital of up to €150m (US$131.7m). Inventages Ventures Capital GmbH, an independent company directed by Dr Gunnar Weikert, will manage the fund.

Nestlé explained that the objectives of the fund are to provide it with a better access to new science, technology and know-how opportunities, through acquisitions, minority stakes, licensing and joint ventures.

The fund will focus especially on life sciences (food and nutrition in general, health-enhancing food, agricultural biotechnology), as well as commercial applications, such as consumer relation management, food processes and packaging technologies.

Investing worldwide, the fund's objective is also to provide long-term capital growth and to have relevant R&D projects developed in form of start-ups, especially those that are of a high-risk nature or do not fit the group's strategic priorities.