North West Regional College is a credible knowledge provider having worked with numerous food companies in the delivery of Innovation.
The NWRC and Foodovation Centre is aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, artisan food producers and small and medium enterprises to develop new food and drink products for the market.
It has supported more than 140 businesses over 6 years with technical know-how and 1:1 support diversify their menus, raise awareness of nutrition and allergens, develop new products with export potential. In the past year the Foodovation Centre has assisted 15 small businesses to attain Invest NI Innovation Vouchers to develop new products. It has supported 36 businesses with skills via the Dept. of the Economy InnovateUs and Skills Focus programmes and has established itself as the go to centre for small business support within the food and drink sectors.
It contains development and production kitchens, kitchen photography and videography studio, a taste testing room and barista coffee training school. The centre was in planning for over 2 years and is in response to the needs of the local economy as a one-stop-shop for those looking to capitalise on their innovative food and drink ideas.
Funding of £500k, Technology Innovation Manager, FoodOvation manager
Evidence of success
The NWRC Foodovation Centre won the 2016 Food NI Year of Food and Drink Legacy Award for the planning, development and future plans of the NWRC and Foodovation Centre that will ensure that the legacy of the 2016 Year of Food lasts long into the future.
Potential for learning or transfer
The FoodOvation centre has generated much interest from project partners as a good practice. This level of support has been identified as a crucial part of the food chain in all regions and addresses a key issue for small food and drink producers. The potential for transfer of learning exists creating a multi disciplinary approach between public sector bodies, universities and colleges.
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