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Minister announces €21m FHI investment

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28 November 2013

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton announced a second term of funding worth €21 million for functional foods technology centre, Food for Health Ireland (FHI).

The Department, through Enterprise Ireland, will invest €16 million in FHI with the remaining €5 million provided by the companies involved in the Centre; Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia, the Kerry Group, and the Irish Dairy Board.

FHI is one of 15 centres in the €100 million Technology Centre Programme and will employ 73 people

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said: “The food sector is a key sector targeted as part of the Action Plan for Jobs. FHI is an excellent example of the commercial output that the Government expects from the other centres in the programme, with combination of industry expertise and academic excellence producing a new generation of technologies, products and services.

“My Department is providing €16 million in this second term of funding to support the move to human intervention studies and an increased focus in commercialisation of the research outputs of the first phase of the centre. I wish them every success and look forward to seeing the commercial outcomes and ultimately jobs that are created from this initiative.”

Jens Bleiel, CEO FHI, said: “The first five-year term of FHI has shown, for example, how milk protein-based nutritional supplements can assist in the prevention of age-related muscle loss in people aged 50-70 years. We’ve also seen interesting results from our second human intervention study into the effects of a new milk based ingredient on glycemic management in 40-65 year olds that are either overweight but healthy, or have Type 2 non-insulin dependent diabetes.”

“Through the research conducted by research teams at UCD, UCC, UL, Teagasc, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth and DCU, FHI is bringing an array of promising ingredients into this second phase of our work and an important part of our funding will be used to conduct human intervention studies to test the health benefits of these ingredients. We look forward to seeing them on the market where consumers can reap the benefits of this research” concluded Mr Bleiel.

The Technology Centre Expo showcased the work of the 15 established centres which between them have a company membership of over 300 companies, both multinational and indigenous companies.

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