In 2015, all United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future". This Agenda for Action lists 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership. SDG 2 – “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” is the driving force behind our Centre for Health & Wellness Innovation (CHWI).
The purpose of CHWI is to carry out world-class research and develop cutting-edge innovations in food science, nutrition and allied areas leading to the development and commercialisation of superior quality products and services that will provide demonstrated health & wellness benefits and become an integral part of people’s lifestyles.
In this regard CHWI will drive R & I in the broad area of Life Sciences, with a specific emphasis on Foods and Nutrition. CHWI is committed to working towards achieving the targets of SGD 2 and the “Eat Right India” initiative. The initiative (a) focuses on empowering citizens to make the right food choices, and (b) it nudges food businesses to reformulate their products, provide better nutritional information to consumers and make investments in healthy food as responsible food businesses.
What is Health & Wellness?
Before we delve further into what CHWI intends to impact in the field of Health and Wellness, it is pivotal to understand what the field entitles.
WHO defines 'Health' as a "state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity", thus, implying that health encompasses not only an individual state and behaviour, but also takes into consideration the environment around.
Wellness is a more complex term. According to the National Wellness Institute (NWI), wellness is "an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence”. This means that wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving one's full potential, and is multidimensional and holistic, positive and affirming.
The CHWI is committed to carrying out research and innovation activities that impact health and wellness holistically. We aim to develop R & I leadership in the key areas covered under the CHWI. This is focused on “Responsible Nutrition” and all the Life Sciences and technology domains that encompass this. CHWI intends to build leadership by bringing in external scientists of repute in these areas, and aims to be the catalysts of this change.
How do we do this?
The CHWI has defined a clear and solid approach to achieve the goals set. Within the CHWI, there will be three divisions:
Food & Nutrition Discovery & Formulation Development Division
This division will be set up to screen and source new food actives, intermediates, formulations and understand the science behind their effectiveness. The Discovery division will cater to the development of food- and nutrition-based Health & Wellness programme for the benefit of the community and society at large.
High-end Technical Services Division
This state-of-the-art division will provide full-service analytical, validation and safety testing facilities and expertise.
Business Development Division
This Division will provide Legal/Regulatory support, Patents and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) support, Clinicals and Claims support, and Project Management support. A Food Safety Cell will be part of this Division and will provide end-to-end development of Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) support.