Florida Construction News staff writer
IFF and Florida Polytechnic University are building a new Citrus Innovation Center, at the Lakeland campus. The 30,000-sq., standalone building will support global citrus research and development, and will include sensory and experience venues, research labs, processing, analytical departments, a fully equipped citrus garden and amenities for hosting customers and partners.
“What an honor to celebrate this beacon for innovation and excellence, that is a perfect blend of science and creativity,” said Nicolas Mirzayantz, president at IFF. “As we lay the foundation for a global citrus innovation center, we re-affirm IFF’s commitment to invest in R&D capabilities that unlock the development of innovative solutions for our customers, partners and communities we operate in. This facility represents a significant milestone in our cross-divisional citrus strategy.
“Here, we will accelerate innovation by combining the expertise from our Nourish and Scent divisions with on-campus talent who are just as committed to pushing the boundaries of science and uplifting the citrus industry as a whole.”
Ryan Companies was hired to design, engineer and construct the new,center and will maintain the building. The sprawling, glass-fronted building and surrounding grounds are slated for completion in late 2023.
The building will overlook the expansive ponds and the campus front entry. Its architectural design draws inspiration from the building’s purpose: the exterior reflects the density and discernment of aromas, scents and taste sensations, showcasing acute moments of knowledge, research and gathering, and the flow of those experiences between spaces.
“The ethereal nature of the design concept was challenging, however Ryan was able to successfully create a dynamic, unique architectural expression that reflects the nature of the work being done within the facility, while complementing the existing architecture on the campus,” said Linaea Floden, regional director of Architecture for Ryan A+E.
IFF will be the first company located on Florida Poly’s campus. The company anticipates providing hands-on internships and job opportunities for Florida Poly students in areas of research and development, customer experience, supply and operational coordination and entrepreneurship. Additionally, IFF will support the University through funding and collaborating on faculty research, sponsoring senior capstone projects, and supporting academic programs.