A hundred years of Finnish inventions – Valio's R&D turns 100

It’s been hundred years since Valio's first research laboratory began operations in the centre of Helsinki. Since then, Valio's R&D has evolved in step with Finland, which is celebrating its hundredth year of independence this year.

Home to innovations such as the lactose free Valio Eila® technology and the Valio Gefilus® product technology, Valio’s research laboratory – and the work done there – is still at the very core of the company’s DNA.

“The importance of research and product development has not diminished in a hundred years. Unique innovations are still the cornerstones of not only Valio's success, but the success of Finland as a whole”, says Tuomas Salusjärvi, Valio’s Executive Vice President in charge of product groups, brands, and R&D.

World-class innovations in the footsteps of “A.I. Virtanen”

In 1919, Valio's laboratory served as the location where Artturi Ilmari Virtanen – a chemist who was to become one of the most well-known Finnish scientists – began his life's work. With no compromises on quality and with a firm focus on scientific collaboration, A.I. Virtanen led the laboratory from 1921 onwards, for nearly 50 years. Of Virtanen's inventions, AIV fodder and AIV salt, in particular, were revolutionary, and Virtanen’s inventions led to him receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1945.

See the story of A.I. Virtanen

Following in the footsteps of A.I. Virtanen, Valio's R&D unit has developed a number of world-class innovations over the decades. Today, innovation and outstanding quality are the key factors in Valio’s success. We introduce approximately 100 new products to the Finnish market every year and hold 351 patents in 50 patent families in 50 countries. In 2016, we spent 26.5 million euros on research, product development and quality assurance.

As Pia Ollikainen, R&D Manager at Valio says: if it’s from Valio, it has been crafted with pride and care.