David Behringer, CEO Of Pilot Lite Ventures USA, To Be Featured Speaker At IFT 2017

Monday, May 18, 2017, New York City —David A. Behringer, CEO of Pilot Lite Ventures USA and former Kraft Foods Fellow for Disruptive Innovation, will be a featured speaker at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual meeting this June in Las Vegas. Behringer will deliver his presentation on “The $250 Billion R&D Problem” Monday, June 26 at 1 pm on the IFT Next stage.

Behringer’s presentation is part of the IFT Next initiative, which provides engaging and provocative programming on the innovation challenges facing food and beverage R&D in the midst of unprecedented disruption within the sector.

“In this era of mega-mergers, massive R&D reductions, and zero-based budgeting, billion-dollar investments in tech startups are stealing the innovation spotlight,” said Behringer, an award-winning innovator and 25-year veteran of the food and beverage industry. “Meanwhile, some $250 billion of great intellectual property and new ventures remain stranded inside organizations because of structure, skill set and business model barriers to commercialization.

“R&D professionals know all too well that changes in corporate strategy or leadership as well as the inability to convert new technologies to revenue streams mean a good portion of IP and early-stage technologies will never have the opportunity to prove themselves in the market,” he said. “Putting just a portion of wasted corporate R&D spend to better use could improve a company’s P/E ratio.”

In his talk, Behringer will challenge companies to rethink how they utilize stranded and underutilized IP, presenting an alternative model for R&D that offers an opportunity to develop stand-alone returns and accelerate innovation activity. He’ll share a roadmap for reestablishing the R&D function not only as a cost center but as a viable, valuable and financeable business model in its own right.

With headquarters in London and offices in Shanghai, New Delhi, Lagos and New York City, Pilot Lite Ventures helps corporate clients identify, validate and launch stranded intellectual property and new ventures. Before joining Pilot Lite Ventures USA, Behringer spent more than two decades at Kraft Foods, most recently as the Kraft Fellow for discovery, incubation and adoption of enterprise-wide disruptive innovation. He was part of the development and commercialization of multiple market opportunities at Kraft, including fat-free salad dressings and South Beach Diet entrees and snacks, as well as the acquisition of the Back to Nature brand and its expansion into multiple categories. During his tenure as head of global packaging innovation, Kraft commercialized value-added formats such as snack-and-seal, which allows cookie and snack packages to be easily opened and re-sealed, and the stick pack, a flexible on-the-go pouch for powdered drink mixes.

Most recently, Behringer served as chief technology officer for 915 Labs, which manufactures and sells microwave food processing systems that offer a healthier alternative to conventional food processing.

A certified professional chef, Behringer holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a certificate in Change Leadership and Innovation from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is a longtime member of the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN), a platform for ongoing collaboration between Kellogg School of Management faculty, corporate innovation leaders, nonprofit organizations and government.

About Pilot Lite Ventures

Pilot Lite Ventures pioneered the discipline of venture management in 2008 and has developed a worldwide presence and global capacity to serve Fortune 250 and FTSE 100 clients in the consumer goods, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. In 2016, GE Healthcare Partners took a 20 percent stake in the global venture management company to harness the market for unexploited R&D, orphaned IP and early-stage technology.

Media Contact

Mary Henderson
Pilot Lite Ventures USA 812.361.3727


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