23 Oct 2022
Change Foods opens regional headquarters in the UAE under NextGenFDI initiative
- Animal-free dairy to contribute to achieving food security and effectively meeting the local demand for dairy products
- Establishment of a factory with a production capacity of 1.2 million liters for innovative animal-free dairy products in Khalifa Industrial City (KIZAD)
The Ministry of Economy announced that Change Foods Inc., a food technology company headquartered in Silicon Valley in the United States, will open a regional headquarter in the UAE, taking advantage of the incentives offered by the country’s NextGenFDI initiative that motivates market entry and attracts the next generation of technology companies to the UAE.
H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “Change Foods joining the NextGenFDI initiative is an important milestone for the UAE. The company's presence in the local market will help develop food and agricultural technology in the country and also contribute to achieving food security and sustainable development goals.”
“NextGenFDI initiative attracted Change Foods to launch its operations in the UAE since the company uses latest innovative food technology, which contributes to meeting the needs of the local food market, given that the country imports nearly 90 per cent of its food requirements. Given the UAE’s natural climatic conditions as a desert, only 5.5 per cent of its land is used for agriculture. Therefore, this move supports the UAE National Food Security Strategy 2051, which seeks to enable sustainable food production through modern technologies, as well as the new national economic agenda that aims to build new industrial capabilities based on advanced manufacturing,” he added.
H.E. further pointed out that NextGenFDI continues to attract world-leading technology companies that implement innovative business models and contribute to building future industries.
Change Foods will launch its operations in the country under NextGenFDI out of Khalifa Industrial City (KIZAD). The company has signed an agreement to establish a facility with a production capacity of 1.2 million liters for innovative animal-free dairy products, which will contribute significantly to supporting the advanced technological system in UAE and the country's plans to achieve food security.
Change Foods pioneered the micro-fermentation process to produce casein, a key ingredient in cheese made from dairy milk. Although its product is biologically identical to the traditional dairy version, its environmental impact is limited since it is completely free of animal derivatives. Current estimates indicate that the facility will use ten times less water, five times less energy, and 100 times less space than conventional dairy farms, with a production volume capable of replacing that of 10,000 cows.
David Bucca, Founder and CEO of Change Foods, said: "We are honored to be a part of the UAE's NextGen FDI initiative and grateful for the strategic partnership with KIZAD, which provided the necessary infrastructure and investment to establish the Change Foods facility.”
“NextGen FDI prioritizes successful scaling of new sustainable food technologies like ours that offer significant environmental and economic development benefits. The strategic alignment behind our company's vision to help transition the world to more sustainable food systems by scaling new food production technology was clear from the start”, he added.
The Ministry of Economy launched the initiative in July 2022. The initiative aims to attract digitally enabled businesses from all over the world and provide them with the necessary market entry fundamentals needed to launch and scale from within the UAE and enable rapid incorporation processes to speed up licensing; facilitating the issuance of bulk or golden visas; accelerating banking services, and providing commercial and residential lease incentives. The initiative has been designed to enhance economic diversification and stimulate the growth of the national economy based on innovation and knowledge. Since the launch of the initiative, several international companies have announced their accession, most notably the British technology company Gödel, KRUSH Brands specializing in food technology, and Gecko Robotics.