Ireland’s Technology Centres provide a unique ecosystem for collaboration, allowing large multinationals and small and start-up companies to work in partnership with academic researchers through topics identified as being strategically important by industry. New companies can join a Technology Centre at any time.
Food-Industry Focused Technology Centres
Food for Health Ireland
The Food for Health Ireland technology centre focuses on harnessing Ireland’s scientific talent and marketing capability through a targeted and industry-relevant programme to develop new functional food ingredients and products.
Through an intelligent milk mining programme and an extensive bioassay screening platform, FHI searches for ingredients that promote infant development, help to control weight and related health issues, boost immunity or support healthy ageing.
It also operates programmes relating to pre-commercial scale-up and formulation of foods with bioactives help to ensure economic production and effective human delivery of milk bioactives. In addition, the research includes consumer studies on functional foods aimed at successfully negotiating market opportunities.
Supported by Enterprise Ireland, FHI links the expertise of researchers at University College Cork, University College Dublin, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, DCU, Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research Centre, and University of Limerick with the industry partners Irish Dairy Board, Carbery Group, Dairygold Food Ingredients Ltd, Glanbia plc and Kerry Group plc. New companies are welcome to join FHI at any time.
Based in West Cork’s rich dairy heartland, Carbery produces a hefty wedge – just under 30 per cent – of Ireland’s cheese output. From cheddars to mozzarella, and blues to curds, the Ballineen plant makes cheeses for retail, foodservice and industry markets worldwide, including the Dubliner brand. But garnering at least as much R&D attention as the cheese itself is the challenge of maximising value from the whey by-product— and in particular its uses in sports and infant nutrition. As well as having a very close relationship with all the food research institutions in the country, Carbery participates in the Food Health Ireland Technology Centre. “It’s potentially one of the shining lights of how collaborative research can work for companies like us,” says Operations Director of the Carbery Group John Holland. “In that co-operation, we can harness a cluster of what I would describe as world-class scientific capability. We are very excited about the outputs.”
Dairy Processing Technology Centre
Ireland’s new and latest Technology Centre – the Dairy Processing Technology Centre – is a dairy industry-led initiative, which aims to build a strategic research and innovation base in dairy processing to help enable the sector to optimally exploit the projected long term growth opportunities.
Other Technology Centres of Interest to Food Manufacturers
The Innovation for Ireland’s Energy Efficiency (I2E2) Research Centre is focused on strategies and technologies that can improve energy efficiency in factories, plant, equipment and buildings.
The Irish Centre for Manufacturing Research (ICMR Ltd) is geared towards helping companies improve performance in areas such as productivity, service levels, product quality and work-force development.