Developed in partnership with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) includes pilot-scale production facilities, laboratories, workshops and teaching spaces to help develop the next generation of food engineers.
The university worked closely with its partners in food and drink – including Siemens, Nestlé, Quorn and Arla Foods – to provide a service tailored towards the needs of the industry, following a prompt from the FDF’s competitiveness steering group.
Funding for the centre included £2.78m from the European Regional Development Fund, £6.92m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and £619,000 from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
Speaking at the launch, NCEFE director Martin Howarth said: “It is just under a year to the day since we held an event to mark the start of construction work on the NCEFE site.
“Not only are we supporting regional and national businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises by researching and developing creative solutions to a range of existing and emerging food industry challenges, we are also creating highly skilled, highly knowledgeable graduates with the practical experience needed to really make a difference in this vital industry and beyond.”
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis praised the centre as an example of the area’s ambition, innovation and vision.