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Feeding Innovation in Ireland’s Boyne Valley

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Feeding Innovation in Ireland’s Boyne Valley

Feeding Innovation in Ireland’s Boyne Valley
October 08
08:30 2015

On a 20-acre site on the outskirts of Navan, County Meath, the wheels are in motion to create the Boyne Valley Food Hub, a major Irish food innovation, research and enterprise development campus that aims to be to food “what Silicon Valley is to technology” within the next 10 years. Driven by Meath Enterprise in conjunction with Meath County Council and in partnership with several key stakeholders, the Boyne Valley
Food Hub will seek to accelerate innovation and research through collaborative partnerships with a view to developing scalable, sustainable and profitable food and agri businesses with high growth and export potential.

The site, which is owned by Meath County Council, is located close to the M3 motorway, 40 minutes from Dublin Airport and 45 minutes from
Dublin Port.

“We are surrounded by eight of the country’s leading universities and a labour force of 910,000 people all within a 45-minute radius,” says Gary O’Meara, Manager at Meath Enterprise and Project Manager of Boyne Valley Food Hub, who expects to have two or three anchor tenants
confirmed within the next few months, including a food outsourcing manufacturer and an international food research and lab testing company.

The hub will be developed in four or five phases over the next 10 years to include incubation space, outsourced food production, manufacturing and packaging facilities, industrial kitchens, centralised distribution and storage, a new product development and innovation centre and a state-of-the art research and development facility.

gary O’Meara explains: “By developing a world class infrastructure and fostering a world class culture of collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship, we create a platform for developing world class companies. This is a fast-paced initiative with long-term benefits that could help harness the regions strengths, build capacity and generate the critical mass needed to compete effectively and competitively on a national and global level.”

Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English says: “The Government wants to encourage initiatives such as this through our regional Action Plan for Jobs and I expect the Boyne Valley Food hub to be like one of the existing national research centres which can avail of funding through Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and Enterprise Ireland.”

Meath County Council recently launched its Economic Strategy 2015-2022 with a key focus to ensure more sustainable job creation whilst strategically positioning Meath as a hub for business, entrepreneurship and innovation as well as a great place to live.

“The development of the Boyne Valley Food Hub is a very good example of our commitment to developing entrepreneurship and investment opportunities in the County and the wider region,” says Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive, Meath County Council.

CAPTION:

Pictured from left to right – Tara Smith, Meath Co Co; Kevin Stewart, Director of Services, Meath Co Co; Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive of Meath Co Co; Damien English TD, Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation; Gary O’Meara, Manager of Meath Enterprise & Boyne Valley Food Hub; Caroline Power, Economic Development, Meath Co Co.

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