Glanbia Ireland turns sod on new €15 million innovation centre

Glanbia Ireland has turned the sod on a new €15 million Innovation Centre in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny, that the entity says “will further strengthen capabilities in bringing new food solutions to market”.

The new 2,000m² facility will deliver state-of-the-art technology with a processing area and a pilot plant which will enable high throughput prototyping for new products and solutions, the processor says.

It will be erected by Matthew Wall & Sons Limited adjacent to Glanbia Ireland’s existing research and development (R&D) structure, which will also undergo a complete renovation.

L-R: Colm Wall, managing director of Matthew Wall and Sons Ltd; and Glanbia Ireland’s chief sustainability and R&D officer, François Morgan. Image source: Dylan Vaughan

Glanbia Ireland’s chief sustainability and R&D officer, François Morgan, said: “Our new innovation centre is a key element of our future ambitions to grow our portfolio of value-added products.

It will be a creative hub and testing centre where all our innovative and passionate food technologists, nutritionists and scientists will collaborate and bring ideas to life.

“It will provide our expanded R&D team with the capabilities to create an innovation pipeline that can bring products speedily and efficiently to market.”

Glanbia Ireland highlighted that it has been focused on growing R&D capabilities ahead of the new facility, which is scheduled to come on stream in the second half of 2021.

The company said there are now 50 people working on new creations and value-added solutions built upon its “traceable core ingredients of quality Irish dairy from over 4,500 suppliers and strong Irish grains portfolio”.

It is expected that 50 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase, with strong protocols in place to help safeguard against Covid-19.