An €8.8 million investment in the National Food Innovation Hub by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine at Teagasc Moorepark was officially opened by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Friday 17th September.
The National Food Innovation Hub is a newly constructed facility adjoining the Teagasc Food Research Centre at Moorepark, County Cork. The Hub provides secure, confidential office and lab spaces for lease to food companies to base their Research and Development teams. By establishing a research base at the National Food Innovation Hub, food companies can collaborate with the expert food scientists from the Teagasc Food Research Programme, and access adjoining world-class pilot plant facilities at Moorepark Technology Ltd (MTL).
Speaking at the opening, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD said, “I’m delighted to be here to officially open the new National Food Innovation Hub, which was conceived to support food companies located in Ireland to secure new export markets in the post Brexit era. I’m confident that in this unique environment that has been created with this facility, food companies will greatly enhance their research and innovation capacity.”
Having been completed in June 2021, the National Food Innovation Hub is already at full occupancy. Client companies work in the areas of dairy and other nutritional products, natural food colours and gut health, with clients representing a mixture of start-up companies, multinationals, Irish Dairy Co-operatives and foreign direct investment.
Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said, “I would like to acknowledge the support from the government for food research in Ireland. It has been critical to building the infrastructure within Teagasc, which is now available to support a modern and continuously evolving food sector in Ireland. The National Food Innovation Hub will harness the state of the art food processing infrastructure at MTL Moorepark, the creativity of Teagasc’s top class food scientists and the collective business ambition of the companies in the Hub to drive innovation, jobs and export diversification.”
The National Food Innovation Hub builds on a recent €10 million investment by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Moorepark Technology Ltd. The onsite combination of the National Food Innovation Hub, the Teagasc Food Research Centre and Moorepark Technology Ltd, promotes collaboration between the Teagasc Food Research Programme and the Food Industry, bringing new products from concept to laboratory to pre-commercial scale on the one campus. Clients at the Hub benefit from the extensive analytical facilities and technical expertise of Teagasc’s food scientists.
Welcoming completion of the new Food Innovation Hub, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D, commented that his Department had been a strong supporter of the project from the outset and throughout the development phase, “we were particularly pleased to provide significant capital funding of some €9m from the Department’s capital budget to enable Teagasc complete this new world class facility.”
“This funding represents a strong commitment by Government to increase the rate of Research and Innovation in the agri-food sector and to support food companies located in Ireland to secure new export markets in the post Brexit era. With a research focus on food processing, quality and nutrition, I believe the Food Innovation Hub will help to deliver significant change in innovation activity and act as a catalyst to promote greater collaboration between industry and public research”.