Plans for a new Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering were launched at Sheffield Hallam University, yesterday (28 November).

The facility is to be built specifically to support industry growth through improving manufacturing capability, with industry professionals gathering this week how plans for the Centre are to be implemented.

Its opening will build on the launch of the UK’s first food engineering degree - MEng Food Engineering - which was developed by Graduate Excellence, a partnership between the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and Sheffield Hallam University.

Melanie Leech, director general at the Food and Drink Federation, said: “The new Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University is a standout example of how manufacturers, government and academics can collaborate to bridge the food industry’s research gap.

“The shared vision and priorities that we have developed today will make this world-class facility a focal point for research and innovation excellence for the UK’s largest manufacturing sector.”

Justine Fosh, chief executive of Improve/National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, said: “The Centre of Excellence, along with the new dedicated food engineering degree, represents a solid bridge to an additional £1bn in Gross Value Added by food and drink businesses and a significant new conduit to attracting high-level talent.”