DIT Hothouse, the Technology Transfer Office at Dublin Institute of Technology, partnered with Dublin Food Chain to host a lunchtime event featuring talks and panel discussions with top entrepreneurs and industry experts from the Irish food industry. The event took place in Gleeson Hall, DIT Kevin St. on Thursday, 26th November.
The event was supported by Local Enterprise Office Dublin City and EY Entrepreneur of the Year. For full details, download The Business of Food Event Brochure
Around 250 attendees from industry and academia were present on the day to enjoy the insights of our panelists, witness the latest food related research on show from DIT and taste the latest food creations from Dublin Food Chain producers.
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The first panel discussed the academic supports available to the food industry through DIT, and demonstrated how research collaborations have resulted in innovation and commercial successes for Irish food producers. The panel consisted of Dr. James Curtin, Head of the DIT School of Food Science & Environmental Health; Dr. Frank Cullen, Head of the DIT School of Culinary Arts & Food technology; Dr. Declan Troy, Teagasc Assistant Director of Research, Peter Mooney, Dawn Meats Head of Innovation, and Dr. Juan Valverde, Monaghan Mushrooms R&D Food Programme Manager.
The second panel comprised entrepreneurs from the retail, food service and food producer arenas and focused on defining what makes a great food entrepreneur and how food businesses can create significant employment opportunities. This panel featured Lil Courtney, Chief Executive of The Courtney Group; Rowan Manahan, Founder & MD of Fortify Services; David Carey, Managing Director of Innovante Foods; Ger Cleary, Director of Glenisk, and Elaine Cohalan, Co-Founder of The Dublin Cookie Company.
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Tom Flanagan, DIT Head of Commercialisation and Hothouse Centre Director said “This event was an important opportunity for DIT to promote the excellent industry-focused research being undertaken by food scientists and other researchers within the institute. In particular, the School of Food Science and Environmental Health, the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology and the Agri-Analtyics Research Group in DIT have much to offer industry in terms of R&D collaboration and new technology offerings. The event also gave our staff and students a chance to learn first-hand what challenges and opportunities Irish food companies are facing.
Dublin Food Chain network manager James Burke said “This was a particularly important event for DFC. With over 1500 members in DFC, innovation and entrepreneurship are critical aspects of the food landscape. Dublin as a region is now producing the largest number of food start-up businesses in the country, and the level of innovation among these is improving all the time.
Cool Beans and Nobo are both great examples of Dublin based food entrepreneurs who have caught the imagination of customers through their innovative products and branding”.
James Burke said Dublin Food Chain, which is supported by the Local Enterprise Offices, is predicting that the number of food start-ups in the city and county will quadruple within the next 3 years, as more and more entrepreneurs are looking to the food sector as a credible business opportunity area.
Further Information For further information about this event or to discuss technology licensing or R&D collaboration opportunities for the food industry, contact Stephen Davis on 01 402 7144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.