dafmpr 15/2015 - Department of Agriculture

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Press/Information Office
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EMBARGO 6.00A.M. 2ND FEBRUARY
15/15
2nd February 2015
€35M INNOVATION INVESTMENT IN IRISH DAIRY PROCESSING INDUSTRY JOINTLY
ANNOUNCED BY MINISTER COVENEY AND MINISTER BRUTON
-
€25M invested in new Enterprise Ireland funded Dairy Processing Technology Centre
-
€10M invested in Teagasc’s Moorepark Technology Ltd.
The Irish dairy processing sector continues to ramp up its preparations for the end of milk
quotas with the announcement of an innovation investment of €35 million today (2nd
February 2015).
The investment by Government and industry will position Ireland as a world leader in dairy
innovation, and help to maximise the long term growth opportunities created by anticipated
increase of 50% in the Irish milk pool by 2020.
Announced jointly by Simon Coveney T.D. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and
Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, at Arrabawn Co-Op in
Co.Tipperary the investment is in the form of two initiatives:

a €25 million Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC) supported by the
Department of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland and the dairy industry partners which
will be hosted by University of Limerick;

and a €10 million investment by Teagasc and the dairy industry shareholders in the
expansion of the Moorepark Technology Ltd (MTL) pilot plant facility in Fermoy Co.
Cork.
Of the 10 major dairy companies involved, 7 are investing in both initiatives; Arrabawn Coop, Aurivo, Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia, Kerry, and Tipperary Co-Op. Lakeland Dairies is part
of the DPTC consortium only. The Irish Dairy Board and North Cork Co-op are investing in
MTL. University of Limerick will lead 9 other Research Performing Organisations (RPO’s) in
the DPTC to deliver the research and technology required creating 52 new jobs for highlyskilled researchers over the 5 year term of the centre.
Announcing the investment of €10 million by Teagasc and industry shareholders to expand
and modernise the MTL pilot plant facility Minister Coveney said: “This is a perfect example
of what can be achieved when clear and common policy objectives are supported by coherent
action by Government agencies in partnership with industry. Investing in product and process
innovation makes sense for a host of reasons. It ensures that value is added to high quality raw
materials in Ireland and maximises the contribution of the dairy sector to employment creation
and the Irish economy generally. It also contributes to improved competitiveness, and helps to
mitigate the impact of commodity price volatility on operators along the supply chain,
including farmers.”
“Ultimately, this kind of investment can build the kind reputation for excellence in all things
dairy that creates a platform not only for export growth, but also for inward investment by
major global players in the food industry. This exactly the kind of initiative envisaged in Food
Harvest 2020 and I am delighted to be associated with it” Minister Coveney added.
Launching the Dairy Processing Technology Centre Minister Bruton said: “The food sector is a
key area that we have targeted as part of our Action Plan for Jobs. This is a sector which offers
massive potential for regional employment, which is a major focus of our 2015 plan, and clearly
the removal of milk quotas offers huge opportunities that we must exploit in a planned and
strategic way in order to support jobs growth. That is why Minister Coveney and I have decided,
through our agencies Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc, to make this significant investment in
innovation in the dairy industry. This market focused technology centre supported by my
Department will bring industry, the education system and Government together to develop
commercial new technologies which will support the growth of the dairy industry here in the
coming years. In this way, we can crucially create more jobs across the regions, and ultimately
improve communities right across the country”.
According to Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc “MTL now lists among its customers the most
progressive companies in the food, food ingredients and nutritional sectors and it is obliged to
meet the high expectation of these companies in all aspects of its services. The €10 million
investment by its shareholders will future proof MTL and ensure its relevance to all its
customers, national and international in the years ahead but most importantly will provide a
platform to support the ambitions of the Irish dairy Industry to produce value added foods and
ingredients for international markets”.
The recently appointed CEO of the DPTC, Padraig McPhillips explained that the DPTC is a
collaborative model in which the best research talent in Ireland relevant to industry needs is
brought together with the dairy sector to solve strategic research and innovation needs
articulated by the sector. “The two key outputs of the DPTC will be knowledge and people both will be absorbed by the industry and used to deliver more efficient processes and better
products and ingredients. The DPTC is like adding a new software engine to the dairy sector”,
said McPhillips.
The two initiatives announced today are complementary, particularly when it comes to
testing the new technologies generated in the DPTC. The companies will need to trial the
technologies at a pilot scale to test their potential robustness at commercial scale. The
upgraded and expanded MTL pilot plant facility provide the right environment for some of
the outputs of DPTC to be tested at a commercial scale and help the transfer of these
innovations to industry.
Welcoming the launch of the DPTC, Dan MacSweeney, Chief Executive of Carbery Group and
Chairman of the Irish Dairy Industries Association said “The Dairy Processing Technology
Centre will be a critical agent in realising the opportunity presented by the abolition of the milk
quotas by providing a dedicated public-private partnership investment in a world class dairy
processing research and capability centre. The Irish dairy industry recognises the importance of
investing in sophisticated, collaborative research and innovation and this is reflected by the
involvement of 8 of our primary processors. Cumulatively, the companies who are partners in
the DPTC process 85% of Ireland’s milk pool, produce €2.5 billion of Ireland’s annual dairy
exports and provide over 25,000 direct and indirect jobs. It is also reflected in the significant
industry contribution of €9 million to the total cost of the initiative – we are serious about
making this technology centre work for the Irish dairy industry. We also welcome the
complimentary investment in MTL, almost €4million of which is being provided by industry”
said Mr. MacSweeney.
According to Professor Mary Shire, VP Research at University of Limerick where the DPTC is
hosted, “the DPTC is a collaboration which brings together a spectrum of companies working
collaboratively with academics drawn from a wide variety of disciplines. The challenges faced
by the Dairy industry require an interdisciplinary approach if they are to be solved. The
University of Limerick has experience of successfully leading multi partner interdisciplinary
research centres and is delighted to be hosting the DPTC”.
Enterprise Ireland funded the DPTC according to Dr. Keith O’Neill, Director of Lifesciences
and Food Commercialisation, Enterprise Ireland because “with the anticipated increase of
50% to 2020 in the Irish milk pool, dairy processors need to be supported to deal with the
challenges presented including technological capabilities and human resources capacities to
develop a product mix that can increase dairy exports while maximising the efficiencies of
processing operations. Enterprise Ireland’s focus is on increasing exports to create economic
growth and the dairy sector, having been underinvested in recent years, will use the knowledge,
technologies and skills developed through the DPTC to take on competitors worldwide in the
coming years. The future is very bright for the Irish dairy industry” concluded Dr. O’Neill.
The Dairy Processing Technology Centre consortium involves 8 companies; Arrabawn Co-op,
Aurivo, Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia, Kerry, Lakeland Dairies and Tipperary Co-Op and 9
Research Providing Organisations; University of Limerick (host) and Teagasc, UCC, UCD,
TCBB at NUIG, DCU, TCD, DIT, ITT & CIT.
The Moorepark Technology Ltd shareholding companies are; Arrabawn Co-op, Aurivo,
Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia, the Irish Dairy Board, Kerry, North Cork Co-Op and Tipperary
Co-Op.
Notes for Editors
More information on the Technology Centre programme
The Technology Centres programme is Ireland’s largest initiative to support market-focused, applied research,
development and innovation. The DPTC is the latest of 15 Technology Centres funded by the Department of
Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.
The aim of the Technology Centre programme which is managed jointly by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland
is to achieve competitive advantage for industry in Ireland by accessing the innovative capacity of the Irish
research community. More than 330 companies already benefit in such areas as ICT; energy; services and
business processes; manufacturing and materials; sustainable food and health and medical technologies.
More information on Moorepark Technology Ltd (MTL)
MTL is an existing subsidiary company of Teagasc that provides dairy processing pilot plant facilities to
industry for new product development and scale up. It is 51% owned by Teagasc and 49% owned by industry.
It is a hardware infrastructure facility with dairy and food processing pilot plant kit and facilities. The MTL
expansion is investing in kit and equipment (stainless steel/hardware). Industry can access the pilot plant on
commercial rates to test new products and processes within the limits of the infrastructure available.
ENDS