Irish Food Tech Cluster – FAQ’s

Chef preparing vegetables in a brown take away container

The Irish Food Tech Cluster consists of 7 Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways providing knowledge, expertise and skills to Irish industry, in the broad area of food and beverage technology. Companies across Ireland can now access these resources for Research, Development and Innovation projects in areas that include bioprocessing, food for health, process control and packaging amongst many others. 

Who we are? 

Irish Food Tech facilitates your access to seven specialised centres across the Technology Gateway Network. Each centre can provide assistance and support in delivering near-to-market solutions, becoming an important extension of your company’s R&D capability. 

  • APT Technology Gateway provides polymer technology solutions for companies in the medical, composite, recycling, food and pharmaceutical sectors. 
  • CAPPA Technology Gateway applies light-based photonic technologies for near-to-market problems for industrial partners. 
  • Design+ Technology Gateway applies industrial design capabilities for companies from the engineering, ICT & software and bio lifescience sectors nationally. 
  • MET Technology Gateway offers cutting-edge, industry focused solutions for Start-Up’s, SMEs and larger organisations across the MedTech, Engineering and Lifesciences sectors. 
  • MICRA Technology Gateway delivers solutions for companies in animal/human diagnostics, environmental, agri-food and bio/pharmaceuticals sectors.  
  • PMBRC Technology Gateway delivers industry solutions for the pharmaceuticals, medical device, food, ingredients, veterinary, ceramics, metallurgy and engineering sectors. 
  • Shannon ABC Technology Gateway is a leader in bioresource research – detection, identification, characterisation and valorisation.

How we can help? 

The Irish Food Tech cluster can help companies in a number of sectors (food, beverages, packaging, design, nutrition, materials and health). If you are a company within any of these, or a related sector, the Irish Food Tech Cluster can assist your business by connecting you with the required expertise, knowledge and equipment to help you innovate at a standard to develop a near to market solution. We also offer industry support in the form of various Enterprise Ireland funding initiatives. The main Enterprise Ireland funding schemes available are the Innovation Voucher Programme, Agile Innovation Fund and the Innovation Partnership Programme, however you can also access the cluster by direct consultancy.  

What do I need to be eligible? 

Business registered within Ireland are eligible to apply to work with the Irish Food Tech cluster. Once the innovation project or idea is considered viable and project deliverables and funding (if suitable) are approved, the project may commence.

How do I get started?  

Firstly, have a good indication of your innovation idea, project or problem and how you may need assistance. Next, get in contact with the cluster, either through the dedicated support office or your regional gateway. The gateway team will discuss your project in detail and outline any suitable funding options. If required a funding application can then be completed and assessed. Once everything is in place, your project will commence on the start date agreed and will be managed throughout by your Gateway team, who will also update you on how your project is progressing. For more info on our innovation process please see here

How does working with the cluster benefit Irish Industry?  

Working with the cluster can bring many benefits for Irish business. Each Gateway consists of a dedicated gateway manager and team of business development engineers and researchers in the field of expertise. Industry also have access to a range of specialized equipment, expert advice and knowledge, access to Enterprise Ireland funding and supports as well as the benefit from our full circle innovation process.  

Still unsure… why not check out some of our industry case studies and testimonials:  

Allihies Seafood and Shannon ABC  

’We worked closely with Shannon ABC in carrying out the Innovation Partnership Feasibility Study. The study comprised of hydration product chemical analysis, athletic trials and a detailed report into the findings.  Shannon ABC were able to provide a seamless interface between all elements of the study.  They quickly gained a full understanding of the questions that we posed and answered these questions to a level that exceeded our expectations.  Their approach is professional, confidential and insightful, which as a small company we appreciate greatly. We hope to develop this study to an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership and look forward to working with Shannon ABC on this project in the very near future’’

Michael O’Neill – Owner Allihies Seafood  

 Four Star Pizza and CAPPA

’The CAPPA group engaged with us from the onset where they explored the viability of the project prior to the Enterprise Ireland application and also helping us with the application as questions arose. The group, maintained contact with us during the entire process where they demonstrated commitment to understanding the issues and the impact to our business. The group were successful in building a quality control model to allow us assess the maturity of mozzarella which will help us to ensure customer satisfaction.  We would highly recommend the CAPPA group and would have no hesitation working with the group in the future.’’

Seamus Lane-Owner, Four Star Pizza (ZZ Ltd) 

Project 5 and APT 

‘’The equipment and expertise in product development and design available to us at CISD enabled us to develop and refine our concept and produce an innovative and manufacturable product.’’ 

Denise MacGiollari 

Where can I find out more information? 

For more information, industry projects and case studies you can find us on our website or follow us on Twitter.  You can also check out the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways YouTube channel.

The Technology Gateway Network have a dedicated support office and team based in Dublin (which includes Irish Food Tech) to help with your companies’ individual needs. If you have an idea for a new product, service or process or are experiencing difficulties with an existing process, get in touch to see how we can assist you in developing an innovative solution.

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