Firmenich, the world's largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, has won Digital Innovation Of The Year at the Digital Economy Award 2021 in Switzerland. This recognition celebrates the Group's ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities and its new Formulae Generator, which augments creation for both fragrances & flavors.
"We are very proud to receive the Digital Innovation of the Year 2021 award, which is a tribute to the industry-leading work of our d-lab, digital, Perfumery and Taste & Beyond teams on augmented creativity," said Firmenich, chief executive officer, Gilbert Ghostine. "AI is a cornerstone of Firmenich's innovation that allows us to marry the most fundamental elements of our DNA: cutting-edge research and development with the unique expertise and creativity of our perfumers and flavorists."
"Leveraging our 126 years of savoir-faire and using machine learning, we are creating the winning products of the future for our customers and consumers," said Eric Saracchi, Firmenich's chief digital & information officer. "Our recipe for success was to bring our experts, as well as start-ups and students, together to keep on driving new frontiers in augmented creativity."
Lukas Bär, Jury President of the Digital Innovation of the Year award, said, "Firmenich has taken a very refreshing approach, which is convincing. It is daring, courageous and innovative to combine humans and technology in such an emotional field - the sense of smell. As Firmenich says, there are more astronauts than perfumers. Clearly, this more than justifies the need for innovation in this industry in particular."
A key milestone in Firmenich's digital transformation across its value chain, AI-augmented creation enables uniquely tailored perfumery and taste solutions with unprecedented speed-to-market. In 2020, Firmenich launched the industry's first AI-augmented laundry care fragrances and created the first-ever flavor by AI.
Building on this know-how, the Formulae Generator opens new possibilities and boosts perfumers' and flavorists' creativity by learning from the immense legacy of Firmenich formulas and ingredients. The system connects the initial composition with data such as specific applications and olfactive descriptors (scent & taste), helping creators understand which ingredients to use in products, including shampoo, soap, body spray, beverages, dairy, meat analogs and more. This provides a base from which Firmenich creators can build bespoke creations for customers.
Firmenich's d-lab is a unique innovation hub located at the EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. Established in 2018, d-lab brings together Firmenich experts and key AI and Machine Learning scientists to disrupt innovation and accelerate digitalization across fragrance and flavor creation.
The annual Digital Economy Award, organized by the trade association swissICT, digitalswitzerland, and publisher Netzmedien AG, recognizes the most digitally advanced organizations in Switzerland and the most innovative digital projects in eight categories. It was presented in front of Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter and more than 800 people in Zürich, Switzerland, on 11 November.