Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy Industry (Group) Co Ltd, a leading Chinese dairy producer, will open its 200 million yuan dairy research institute in Huhhot, capital of North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Sunday, the company said on Friday.
The institute is the first of its kind in the domestic dairy industry and is part of Mengniu's bid to meet the challenges of fierce competition from home and abroad, said Zhao Yuanhua, Mengniu's vice-president and spokeswoman.
"It is one of the few highest-level research institutes in the global dairy industry," she said.
In the partnership with 11 dairy organizations, including equipment suppliers and academic research institutes, the Mengniu facility will undertake research and development that meets international standards, she said.
"More than 100 million yuan has been spent on advanced equipment and we will continue to add to the investment," said Zhao.
The remainder of its initial investment went into building the 12,000-square-meter facility and other ancillary costs, she said.
There will be 40 staff members working at the institute, 90 percent of whom have advanced degrees from China's agriculture-related universities.
Mengniu formulated plans for the research institute last April as part of the company's efforts in overseas expansion after holding the position as China's top milk producer for four consecutive years.
Niu Gensheng, Mengniu's founder and chairman, said Mengniu's top priority is to become one of the top 20 international dairy producers.
But the company still lags behind its international peers in corporate scale, management and especially hi-tech innovation, admitted Zhao.