Meat Technology Ireland is an industry-led initiative, that has build a strategic research and innovation base in beef and sheepmeat processing in Ireland. The Centre is a ‘one-stop shop’ for meat processing research and technology, serving as a hub to co-ordinate all beef and sheepmeat processing research needs.
Meat Technology Ireland was established 2016 and completed its first Phase on the 30th of November 2021. Phase I was an €8.1 million five-year research and innovation programme, developed by industry and co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and a consortium of nine beef and sheepmeat processing companies. Phase I was hosted by Teagasc at its Ashtown Food Research Facility in Dublin with Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Dublin City University (DCU), University College Cork (UCC) and the Irish Cattle Breeders Federation (ICBF) involved as research providers. The companies behind the initiative were ABP Ireland, Ashbourne Meat Processors, Dawn Meats Group, Dunbia (Ireland), Hilton Foods Ireland, Irish Country Meats, Kepak Group, Liffey Meats, and Slaney Foods International. The Phase I programme was delivered through 6 strategic research pillars which were defined by the commercial requirements of the MTI member companies. Topics included genomic predictions, meat tenderness management, meat safety, meat characteriation technologies, meat and health and future market opportunities.
The funding agency, Enterprise Ireland, conducted an independent intensive international review in 2020. The review concluded the centre had developed commercially-relevant intellectual IP with the capability of a Return on Investment (RoI) of 18.6 times the initial investment. The result was top-tier in terms of Technology Centre performance, benchmarking strongly against sectors such as microelectronics in Ireland. The review led to an automatic invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the ccentre to proceed to preparing a Phase II submission.