Kerry Group’s €100m global technology and innovation centre was officially opened today (October 1) by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

The centre is to serve the Group’s global and regional customers in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.

The centre is located on a 28ac site, in the Millennium Business Park, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Also in attendance was the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton and the Kerry Group Board of Directors.

Kerry Group has invested €100m in establishment of the new centre which today accommodates 800 research, product commercialisation, business development and business support positions, and which will accommodate a further 100 positions by the end of 2016.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Stan McCarthy, Kerry Group Chief Executive said that the new centre will serve as a focal point for Kerry’s customer engagement activities providing key customers with access to the Group’s complete breadth and depth of technologies, scientific research, innovation and applications expertise, across food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets.

“In addition, it will serve as the Group’s global centre of excellence for nutrition and will optimise product differentiation in the marketplace while providing unrivalled speed to market.

Today’s consumer markets, and changing food and beverage consumption trends, call for renewed vigour in product innovation and development of nutritious product solutions and menu offerings.

“Kerry’s approach to innovation capitalises on our total taste and nutrition technology offering and unique end-use-market applications capability,” he said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny who officially opened the new Kerry Centre said, that this €100m investment by Kerry Group is a welcome vote of confidence in Ireland and a great boost for the local economy in Naas.

“Kerry is a world leader in the food sector and the new global technology and innovation centre will further enhance Ireland’s reputation for excellence in research, development and innovation in the food and beverage industry,” he said.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, whose Department provided support for this project, said, that at the heart of our jobs strategy is creating a powerful engine of Irish enterprise.

“Here is a strong Irish multinational company, making world-leading products in Kildare, exporting them all around the world, investing €100m and creating 900 jobs from scratch,” he said.

Minister Simon Coveney said that the completion of this facility, a €100m project, is the largest single investment in food innovation ever by a company in Ireland.

“It represents a huge vote of confidence in the Irish economy. Equally importantly, it represents a resounding endorsement in the quality and expertise of Irish food science graduates to deliver food innovation in the most modern global facility producing world-class ingredients and consumer products,” he said.