Teagasc‘s research and development hub in Moorepark, Co Cork is a hive of commercial activity and this is growing from strength to strength.

Plans are under way to invest more than €10m in Moorepark Technology Limited to upgrade the hub to a state-of-the-art world-class research facility. And they do not stop there. In the pipeline is also the creation of a food innovation centre to accommodate and nurture this customer base.

Over the past five years an increasing number of companies have establish a long-term presence at the site to access its facilities.

According to Teagasc, from a company perspective this is an ideal set up, as they can avail of Teagasc research staff experience and knowledge while using the pilot plant, Moorepark Technology Limited.

This set up assists companies in fulfilling their ambitious innovation agendas without the need for major investment in research infrastructure.

According to a recent Moorepark update, the ambitious company innovation agendas are crucial as Ireland enters a period of unprecedented growth and expansion within the dairy and meat sectors.

In 2013 the Teagasc Food Research Programme at Ashtown and Moorepark had 246 commercial clients, with an income amounting to €3.5m.

Twenty-four of these client companies had contracts in excess of €20,000. Even more impressive is the fact that many of these companies now want a more permanent presence on site.

“At present we have 12 companies with staff and research activities at Teagasc Moorepark, and many more wanting to establish similar significant links,” outlined Prof Paul Ross, head of the Teagasc Food Research Programme in the Moorepark update.

He is of the view that this increase in commercial activity is a good development for its food research programme and ensures the accumulated pipeline of research generated across the site will reach its full commercial potential in the years ahead.