UCC to host all-island agri-food summit

An all-island agri-food summit will take place on University College Cork (UCC) campus on Wednesday and Thursday, May 17 and 18.

The summit is open to all food producers, academics, growers, industry reps and technology providers in the sector.

The event is organised by the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, UCC and the Institute of Technology Tralee.

The summit promises to provide the opportunity to access market leaders, state-of-the-art food innovation expertise, and business-to-business (B2B) meeting sessions designed to encourage all-island collaborations in the food sector.

The event, which is free to attend, will begin on May 17 with a guided tour of the in-house bakery facilities and micro-brewery on the UCC campus. Specialist speakers from Teagasc & UCC from the bakery, meat, dairy and beverage sectors will also give talks on the first day.

PJ O’Reilly, Regional Manager with Enterprise Ireland, said:

Attending this event will give attendees an appreciation for where conventional thinking is heading. It will inform people of the expertise and capabilities within our third-level institutes and Teagasc, regarding research and development.

The second day of the summit will start off with a welcome address from UCC’s Head of College of Science, Engineering & Food Science, Prof. Paul Ross.

This will be followed by keynote speakers such as Michael Bell, Director of Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association, who will deliver a presentation on global food security and sustainability.

Another expert speaker will be Prof. Christine Loscher of Dublin City University, Director of DCU’s new Health Technologies Research and Enterprise Hub, who will give a talk on future opportunities and emerging markets within the food sector. There will be an emphasis in particular on health, and the value of industry-academic collaboration and research.

Tom Kinney from Invest Northern Ireland noted that:

The line-up of expert speakers has been well thought out, so that a variety of agri-food topics will be up for discussion and the B2B meetings will give attendees the opportunity to create real connections with others on the day.

Dr. Helena McMahon from the Institute of Technology Tralee, and Managing Editor of TasteofScience.com, will explain how Taste of Science is assisting in the flow of knowledge and technologies from food innovators to food enterprises to encourage progression in the food sector.

Peter Hannan of Hannan Meats will discuss the development of his award-winning meat enterprise. Also, Kenneth O’Connor, head of the well-known Musgrave/Supervalu Food Academy program will talk about the program and its benefits for food producers. Chris Brockman, Head of Food & Drink at Mintel Europe will discuss ‘Global Food Trends in 2017’.

Additionally, Imelda Lambkin from Enterprise Ireland will discuss European funding opportunities and the Marie Curie H2020 project.

To register for the summit, you can visit the website here.