New beef and sheep meat research programme launched in Ireland
A new €8.1m five-year research and innovation program, focusing specifically on meat processing, has been launched at the Teagasc Ashtown Research Centre in Dublin.
Dubbed as Meat Technology Ireland (MTI), the program has been developed by the Irish meat industry and co-financed by Enterprise Ireland along with a group of nine beef and sheepmeat processing firms.
It was launched by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor and the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.
The MTI aims to create a one-stop destination for research and technology innovation in the Irish meat processing sector.
According to Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon, the government agency’s strategy is to help Irish companies build scale and expand their footprint in global markets.
Sinnamon added that MTI will directly promote innovation in the agri-food industry and subsequently contribute towards the growth of exports.
She also said: “The need for greater levels of innovation among Irish companies as part of their response to Brexit is crucial and the launch of Meat Technology Ireland today is well timed, pooling the innovative talents of all the stakeholders involved to compete internationally offering best in class and further leveraging our strong international reputation in the provision of quality meat products.”
Teagasc, Ireland’s agriculture and food development authority, will host MTI at its Dublin-located Ashtown Food Research Facility.
Teagasc Director Prof Gerry Boyle said: “Teagasc is delighted to be working with Enterprise Ireland, industry partners and other academic research organisations, to harness the collective information and research expertise available to the Irish meat industry, and to seek out new knowledge, to create innovative solutions for the commercial sector to exploit, for the betterment of all involved in the livestock sectors in Ireland.
“Meat Technology Ireland, hosted at Teagasc Ashtown, will serve as a hub to co-ordinate all beef and sheep meat processing research needs.”
Research providers in the program are Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Dublin City University (DCU), Irish Cattle Breeders Federation (ICBF), and University College Cork (UCC).
MTI has industrial backing from ABP Ireland, Ashbourne Meat Processors, Dawn Meats Group, Dunbia (Ireland), Hilton Foods Ireland, Kepak Group, Slaney Foods International, Liffey Meats and Irish Country Meats.
Image: Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD with John Malone, Chairman, Meat Technology Ireland; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD; Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc; CEO Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon and Dr Noel Cawley, Chairman Teagasc, at the launch of MTI. Photo: courtesy of Teagasc.