UCC and Teagasc announce food research agreement

 

THE ANNOUNCEMENT of a strategic alliance between UCC and Teagasc has paved the way for a single food research programme in Ireland.

The agreement will enhance collaboration between the university and the agriculture development body through the sharing of resources and working on a joint programme.

It will also see the establishment of a single portal for food companies to access international quality research and innovation, a move welcomed by Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith.

“The food industry has been identified as a major driver in the future of Ireland’s economy. The UCC/Teagasc strategic alliance in food research will ensure that Irish food companies have improved access to excellent scientific capability, facilities and critical mass that will support the delivery of products, processes and jobs for the Irish economy,” he said.

The alliance will focus on three thematic areas: food and health, food science and technology and food and the consumer. The resources of both organisations will be deployed to build a common food research and innovation programme.

More than 250 researchers, post-doctorates, and post-graduates are working across a variety of disciplines in food science, food technology, nutrition, food for health and food business.

The alliance creates the opportunity to share the research infrastructure and facilities such as the pilot food processing facilities at Moorepark Technology Ltd and at Teagasc Ashtown, the UCC processing hall and the new GMP manufacturing facility at UCC.

Teagasc director Prof Gerry Boyle said it and UCC recognised they benefit from significant public funding and this has to be deployed to the greatest extent for the benefit of Irish industry.

“The enhanced capability will permit both UCC and Teagasc to accomplish goals together that they could not achieve separately,” he said.

He said these efficiencies and resource use optimisation, which would enhance the flow of new information to the Irish food industry and benefit consumers and taxpayers.

UCC president Dr Michael Murphy said the alliance fitted with UCC’s strategy of forming partnerships with like-minded institutions, which are based on strong foundations and highly ambitious in scope and intent.