When it comes to the future, Tulip is forging a way ahead at the cutting edge of research and development with its state-of-the-art new product development centre or Inventorium in Vejle, Denmark. The centre, which cost more than 21 million Danish Kroner (£1.7m) to build, provides production facilities and houses a hi-tech presentation hall and a full scale kitchen, complete with chef, with which to create and demonstrate products to customers. The centre, which employs nine people, has been open less than a year and has already paid for itself with a handful of the 120 new products that the company aims to produce a year. Centre director Bent Olsen says: "So far we've managed to hit our targets, but everyone is juggling a lot of things at the same time!" The centre's large kitchen is where new product ideas are created and from there they can then be moved to the pilot production plant, in effect, a small factory. Olsen says: "The plant is designed so we can bring equipment in and out as and when we need it. "The pilot plant allows us to make products exactly how we would in the factory, without interrupting the production processes of other products." The creation of the centre has placed Tulip at the forefront of the Danish meat industry's processing and product development activities. The Inventorium also provides training facilities which allow the company to bring in sales staff to learn about the new products and their uses, allowing everyone to keep up to date on Tulip's activities. {{Z SUPPLEMENTS }}