The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), the marketing order representing California dairy producers, announced the development of the California Dairy Innovation Center (CDIC), a collaborative effort to further product-oriented innovation and enhance productivity for California dairy. The CDIC will feed dairy innovation efforts for the state with collaborations between California dairy producers, processors and universities, Tracy, Calif.-based CMAB said.

“The ‘center’ is not a physical building or organization, but rather a cooperative effort to leverage the tremendous brain trust of our California colleges and universities, as well as the California dairy industry as a whole, to support our mutual goals,” said John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB.

The CMAB said it is currently in the recruitment process for a CDIC director who will unite industry professionals to meet innovation goals while providing vital leadership for the California dairy industry. The director role will also include coordinating pre-competitive research projects, as well as educational trainings to meet these goals.

The director will be a point of contact for researchers, educators and business development representatives, as well as for processors interested in innovation efforts. This position will also serve as an advocate for the dairy community by promoting innovation, product development and workforce support, the CMAB said, in addition to implementing competitive advantages for the dairy industry.

California is the nation’s leading milk producer, the CMAB said. It also produces more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. California milk and dairy foods can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies they are made exclusively with sustainably produced milk from the state’s dairy farm families.