Kerry Group, the global ingredients company, has opened a new €1bn technology and innovation centre in Dublin.

It includes a new analytical lab, and others which specialise in enzyme and proteins that can be used to measure and help with the softness of bread.

The new centre is situated outside Naas near Dublin and serves the group’s global customers in nutrition and its regional customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Stan McCarthy, Kerry Group’s chief executive, said: “We needed to do what was right for the organisation and for our shareholders. Once we got the comfort and the support from the government parties, including Enterprise Ireland, that was a big help, and the fact that it (the site) had an international airport (Dublin) nearby. The educated workforce from universities was the biggest influencer.”

The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny and Ministers for Agriculture and for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation were present for the official opening on 1 October.

The new centre has a typical industry manufacturing plant, but on a much smaller scale, so that Kerry can ensure any product is fully functional when it goes to the customer. There is also what is called the ‘rapid fire’ pipeline which, in collaboration with the customer, comes up with new product ideas quickly.

This centre is based on the Kerry Group’s other research centre in Beloit, USA. It will employ 900 people by next year.