Transforming Training: Novae Restoration uses VR for More Safety and Quality

Vaud-based gastronomy company Novae is using a virtual training program to enhance employee safety and improve quality in its daily operations. In order to realize this pioneering project, UMB connected the company with suitable partners and supported the development of virtual reality scenarios. In the meantime, the digital transformation has been realized and VR training has become a fixed part of the company's business practice, valued by all involved. 


Novae Restauration SA is a catering and gastronomy company based in Gland in the canton of Vaud. The company employs around 700 people and has always focused its culture on sustainable development and the quality of its products and services. To work with Novae, each of Novae's suppliers signs a charter for responsible purchasing, commitments to ethical practices, workplace safety, and animal welfare as well as environmental protection.


New concepts, new techniques, and digital technologies

Sustainability and quality standards apply not only to the headquarters in Gland, but also to the restaurants that use new concepts, new cooking techniques and digital technologies. The safety of the team is also a priority. That is why Christian Volmerange, managing director of Novae Restauration, initiated an immersive training program on good work practices. Virtual reality technology was to be used in the process. The program was designed to help prevent accidents in the workplace and improve the quality of work as well as the well-being of team members.


First steps through virtual first aid

As a way to approach virtual reality technology, UMB proposed to Novae Restauration's management to deliver an accredited CPR course as an immersive training for cardiopulmonary resuscitation in virtual reality. The service was provided by our Swiss partner VRescuer Sàrl, whose founder and CEO Vincent Lemaire translated his experience as a paramedic into immersive training scenarios. This successful first immersion in virtual training enabled the actual launch of the project.


Models and scenarios

In its role as solution integrator, UMB worked in coordination with the HumanTech Institute, affiliated with the Freiburg University of Applied Sciences (HTA), to create a Novae kitchen model and several scenarios to simulate daily operations. These involved, for example, the storage of products, the movement of heavy objects, the correct operation of kitchen appliances and other kitchen activities. UMB also took over project coordination and supported the design with its technical know-how. HumanTech took care of the technical implementation.


Solution and implementation

The project took six months to implement. Gilles Cazals, training manager at Novae, was in charge of the internal project management. Quentin Meteier and Mira El Kamali, PhD students at HTA, coordinated the implementation for HumanTech. Quentin Maumary, an employee of the HumanTech Institute, developed the virtual reality scenery, i.e., the digital model of the kitchen, according to Novae's wishes. To do this, the team visited one of Novae's kitchens, documented the environment with photos, and then began 3D modeling. The biggest challenge was to ensure that gesture commands to control the virtual reality environment were implemented correctly in each case.


Virtual reality as part of everyday working life

The result was finally presented at the annual Novae manager conference. During a workshop on the topic "Future of Work Experience", more than 100 participants had the opportunity to work personally in the virtual kitchen. The event had been organized by the Novae team, students from the HumanTech Institute and Luca Bino from UMB.

The VR training was convincing across the board. The feedback ("Excellent experience; should be expanded and optimized with other scenarios; fun; arouses curiosity") was unanimously positive. In addition, many valuable impulses for further training developments were gathered. In the meantime, the VR training courses have become an important element of quality management and an integral part of the daily work of the Novae crew.

Thanks to UMB Innovation & Future of Work, Novae has digitized its training activities, increasing safety and quality.  UMB creating Time.

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Novae develops its 'zero accident culture' every day. The VR project could be launched thanks to the collaborative work around Luca Bino from UMB and the team from HTA in Freiburg. A completely new and enriching experience for our restaurant managers.

Gilles Cazals, Head of Training & Occupational Safety, Novae.

Your contacts

Luca Bino
+41 58 263 22 29