Olaf Gruess has over 23 years of experience in the food industry, having led new product development (baked goods, yoghurt, cereal bars, shelf-stable and frozen meals), strategic research initiatives (sodium reduction technology, human taste perception), as well as roles in Marketing, Connected Innovation and early start-up evaluation. Gruess was the Head of Connected Innovation and led strategic partnership development at General Mills’ long-term research platform. Gruess focused on identifying technologies externally, developing implementation strategies for those technologies in the broader organization and developing mutually beneficial external partnerships around the globe.
Gruess serves as a judge and mentor at MassChallenge, the world’s most start-up friendly accelerator and the European Food Venture Forum; he was on the Industrial Board of the Integrative Food and Nutrition Center at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Institute for Food Technology (DIL).
Gruess received his master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Bonn, Germany and the University of Ghent, Belgium, as well as a PhD in Food Science from the University of Bonn, Germany.
Gruess holds several patents and shares his expertise globally through keynotes, summits and conference presentations as Director of Partner Development for Cargill.