Irish Food Tech – 5 Benefits That Will Enhance Your R&D Journey.

Close up of colourful vegetable stand

The Irish Food Tech Cluster (IFT) consists of 7 Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways providing knowledge, expertise and skills in food and beverage technology to Irish industry. Companies across Ireland have access to expertise, resources and equipment for Research, Development and Innovation projects in a wide selection of areas that include bioprocessing, food for health, process control and packaging amongst many others. There are many advantages to collaborating with the cluster, to give you a taste of what to expect, we’ve put together 5 of these benefits below:  

1. Specialized Equipment. 

The Irish Food Tech cluster has access to a substantial range of specialised equipment available to enhance your R&D experience. Companies often find that gaining access to specialised equipment can be a major obstacle when engaging in R&D. The cluster has access to a wide range of equipment located within Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities around Ireland, which assures your specific requirements can be met. Below is a sample listing of equipment available within the cluster’s seven gateways. For further information on available equipment check out individual Gateway websites.  

  • APT – Packaging barrier testing equipment 
  • CAPPA – Visible and Near IR Hyperspectral Imaging system. 
  • Design+ – mK Technology Vacuum Casting system 
  • MET – Viscometer (Brookfield, DV-II+ Pro) 
  • MiCRA – Electrochemical Workstation (Potentiostat/Multichannel Potentiostat)
  • PMBRC – Spray Dryer (ProCepT 4M8TriX) 
  • Shannon ABC – Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry

2. Expert Advice and Knowledge.  

Irish Food Tech facilitates your access to seven specialised research centres across the Network. Each providing assistance and support in delivering near-to-market solutions. The cluster provides dedicated access to a Gateway manager and team of expert business development engineers, who are geared to help with your companies’ individual needs. In-fact, with time, companies often find the cluster becomes part of their ongoing R&D development structure. 

 3. Access to Enterprise Ireland Funding:

Companies collaborating with the Irish Food Tech Cluster have access to a wide range of Enterprise Ireland funding mechanisms, including Innovation Vouchers, Innovation Partnerships and the Agile Innovation Fund. Funding is available to suit all types and sizes of projects. From €5,000 Innovation vouchers for small companies to get innovative solutions to technical and business challenges, to up to €250,000 feasibility studies available for collaborative projects between companies and research teams in Higher Education. You can also access the cluster by direct consultancy. You can access more information on funding options here

4. Collaboration within the Network: 

Since 2013, more than 2500 Irish based companies have utilised the broader Technology Gateway Network to successfully complete over 4000 innovation projects. The Gateway Network collaborate closely, ensuring a valuable innovation environment for client companies. Should your project require additional expertise, this is readily available to you through the cluster and the wider Network. With this level of collaboration comes many additional gains for industry, including regional support and advice, shared expertise and experience, plus a culture of innovation and research. Our Gateway teams know that regular communication and collaboration within project-based work not only enhances the sharing of knowledge and expertise but also delivers the best possible outcome for the project. These principles ensure that your R&D project will be completed in a timely fashion and within budget.  

5. Full circle process 

The cluster encompasses all elements of the food and beverage development journey. Whatever stage you are at, there is a suitable Gateway which can assist. Our full circle process provides expertise, knowledge and equipment in areas such as Ingredient’s input, process, packaging and output. Fully supported and enhanced by a feedback loop to aid required improvements. This full circle approach ensures an efficient and effective journey through the cluster.

Now that you are aware of some of the benefits of working with the IFT Technology Gateway cluster, we’d love to hear which one of your innovative projects you are going to work on first? 

For more information on how the cluster can support your company, contact the Irish Food Tech cluster support office or follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest industry and cluster news.

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