Food Innovation and Business

Support for Innovation

A dedicated team works to promote the importance of innovation within the local food industry.

There are opportunities for much higher levels of adoption of new/improved products and processes to meet the needs of an evolving market.

The team identifies key drivers for change, develops new product concepts in line with market opportunities and reports on new & emerging technologies, which may benefit food businesses in Northern Ireland if adopted.

Examples of work undertaken:

  • Application of functional ingredients in food products
  • Reducing salt in foods
  • Increasing shelf life
  • Reducing usage of preservatives and artificial colours.

The team link with Invest Northern Ireland on the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme (KTP), which brings together businesses, research bodies and recent graduates to work on mutually beneficial company-based projects.

Support for Business

The Food Business Incubation Centre supports potential food processing entrepreneurs. Opened in 1998, the FBIC provides the food supply chain with eight self-contained, high quality factory units, in which entrepreneurs and established businesses can test and fully commercialise their ideas for new products/processes.

Food Enterprise Development Programme

Some new business ideas may not be ready for full-time manufacturing – or for some micro businesses the idea of fully commercialising their idea in an incubation unit or elsewhere may not be possible.

Food Enterprise Development is a two part programme aiming to provide new businesses with the best possible start. Participants are first provided with relevant technical and business skills and then use the Food Technology Centre to manufacture products, to test market before setting up their business commercially.