New food innovation centre opens in Northern Ireland

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Chef Neven Maguire (left) with Foodovation manager Brian McDermott
Chef Neven Maguire (left) with Foodovation manager Brian McDermott

Related tags: Northern ireland, New product development

Northern Ireland now has a new focus for food innovation, following the official opening in November by North West Regional College (NWRC) of the region’s first centre of excellence for food development and technology.

The centre, which is based in the Northland Road building of NWRC’s Strand Road campus, was opened by award winning chef Neven Maguire.

Fully equipped with the advanced facilities and the latest technology, the Foodovation centre contains a food science lab, development and production kitchens, kitchen studio photography and videography, meeting rooms, a taste testing room and barista coffee training school.

Successful and sustainable

As well as offering services to small- to medium-sized food businesses, Foodovation will provide industry specialists with the technical advice they need to ensure their route to market is successful and sustainable.

To date, stock maker Carol Banham has made the centre her new workplace, as well as Limavady pig farmer Alastair Crown from Corndale farm.

“North West Regional College prides itself on strong delivery and supporting the food sector,”​ said McDermott. “We have enjoyed huge success so far and look forward to building on this and growing.

‘Supporting the food sector’

“This is first venue in the North West that offers a complete end-to-end new product development model for food producers in the region.”

Foodovation has been developed in partnership with the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy and Connected, an initiative involving Queen’s University, University of Ulster, the six Regional Colleges and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise.

We continue to lead the way in developing skills, which allow industries to develop new product ideas,” ​said NWRC principal Leo Murphy.

Related topics: NPD, Drinks, Confectionery, Fresh produce

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