€8.8 million National Food Innovation Hub will help our agri-food sector deal with Brexit challenge – David Stanton

-   David Stanton TD

Cork East Fine Gael TD, and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, has welcomed today’s funding announcement by An Taoiseach and Minister Michael Creed, of €8.8 million for the development of the National Food Innovation Hub.   The Hub will be located at Teagasc’s Moorepark facility outside Fermoy.

“This is great news for farming in my constituency of Cork East and for the national agricultural industry.

“I know that the industry is concerned about the potential impact of Brexit on agricultural trade so this funding is a vote of confidence in our agricultural industry’s future.

“Minister Creed explained that the Hub is an integral part of the Food Wise 2025 plan, which identified Research, Development and Innovation as key drivers of competitiveness in the agri-food sector. Collaboration between industry and the research community is crucial to advance research and new product innovation.

“As the Taoiseach said today, this Hub will help Irish businesses to innovate and expand. It will help to ensure our agri food sector remains competitive which is hugely important to help mitigate the impacts of Brexit.

The hub will act as a business innovation network involving dairy companies, Moorepark Technology Ltd (MTL), incubator companies and public-private partnership based R&D programmes with a research focus on food processing, quality and nutrition. It will consist of up to 12 customer application suites containing office and laboratory space, so that each company can have an on-campus presence to conduct new-product development and collaborate with research.

Minister Creed confirmed today that €8.8m of exchequer funding will be provided from the Department of Agriculture’s Capital allocation on a phased basis over 2018 and 2019 to fund the development of the National Food Innovation Hub.

This investment in the National Food Innovation Hub is in addition to a €10 million investment by Teagasc and the dairy industry in MTL (Moorepark) to expand and upgrade its pilot processing facilities. This upgrade is currently underway.

“This development is great news for the agri-food sector and indeed for SME’s both here in Cork and also nationally,” concluded Minister Stanton.

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