Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Abertay launches specialist centre to support Scots food and drink business in world marketplace

25.01.2007
Food and drink businesses in eastern Scotland can now get expert help developing new products and processes to help them compete in the world marketplace, thanks to a new initiative by the University of Abertay Dundee.

The University today launched food innovation @ abertay (FIA), a dedicated technology transfer unit aimed at supporting small and medium-sized companies.

Supported by £80,000 from the European Regional Development Fund, FIA will offer academic and business expertise to companies looking to develop new, healthier products and new markets as well as make use of new technologies and training.

Business leaders from the industry joined representatives of Abertay and Scottish Enterprise for the launch today, which took place at Dudhope Castle in Dundee.

Figures from Scottish Enterprise show that there are around 1,600 food and drink sector workplaces in Scotland, employing 53,200 people – about 17% of the total Scottish manufacturing workforce. The industry is closely linked to Scotland’s £2.47 billion tourism sector, but surveys have highlighted some structural and regional weaknesses.

More than two out of three Scottish food and drink companies employ fewer than 50 people, and in Tayside both employment and export sales have been on a downward trend in recent years.

Food industry expert Jennifer Bryson, who has joined Abertay to run FIA, commented: “The Scottish food industry is still very fragmented and lacks scale, making it harder than it need be to compete at European and world level.

“Yet we have some of the world’s finest food and drink products, and a strong track record of creativity and quality – all the ingredients for success, in fact. FIA aims to support the creation of a world-class Food and Drink Innovation Network, bridging the gap between industry and academia so as to help more SMEs in eastern Scotland taste international success.”

FIA will offer consultancy and applied research in food and drink, particularly in health and nutrition; adding value through innovation and brand development; and the exploitation of growth market opportunities particularly in foodservice.

It will advise companies on how to use university food technology expertise better, how to be more creative with new product development, how to add value and how to extend shelf-life so as to open up markets further afield. The main targets will be premium growth segments of the foodservice sector and value-added meal solutions within the retail sector.

Abertay is well-equipped to host FIA. The University’s School of Contemporary Sciences includes a Health and Food Sciences Division containing among others, food technologists, microbiologists and chemists. As well as running degree programmes in food science and food product design, the Division already carries out a lot of consultancy and research work for the food and drink industry.

Current research projects include the use of ultrasound for disinfecting water supplies to food and drink plants, working with major distillers on ways to prevent the counterfeiting of spirits, and new ways of using and controlling yeast in the food industry. Academic staff involved in this research will support FIA’s work, along with other experts in food and consumer law and marketing from Abertay’s Dundee Business School.

Professor Mike Swanston, Vice-Principal (Academic Development) at Abertay University, said: “FIA is a good example of how a university can do more than provide educational programmes. Knowledge transfer, as it’s now known, is a crucial activity. We need to make sure that the centres of expertise and knowledge set up to support education are available to the industries in which graduates will work.

“I’m delighted that we have key representatives of the Scottish Food Industry here this afternoon. I’m sure that today will be the platform for a successful future relationship between the university and the food industry. That type of relationship is a key requirement for modern universities and one that Abertay is fully committed to.”

Ian Findlay, a manager in the SE Tayside business growth team, presented an overview of the work done by SE’s food and drink team. He said: “The food and drink processing sector is a major contributor to the Tayside economy, employing more than 2,500 people directly across most of the industry sub-sectors, including meat, poultry, game, ready meals, bakery, vegetables, soft fruit and bottled water. Its importance to the local economy is significantly greater as most of the raw materials are also sourced within Tayside.

“We work with a number of companies within the sector, giving them a wide-range of support and advice to help them increase their productivity and potential, and we welcome this initiative.’’

Speakers at today’s launch included:

- Professor Mike Swanston, Vice-Principal (Academic Development), Abertay University;
- Sylvia Halkerston, HR Director, Macphie of Glenbervie;
- Ian Findlay, Company Development Manager, Scottish Enterprise Tayside;
- Jennifer Bryson, Business Development Director, food innovation @ abertay.

Kevin Coe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.abertay.ac.uk

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation
22.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>