New €27m centre for global research and development opens in County Limerick

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Nestlé’s first global R&D Centre in Ireland was opened today in Askeaton by Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, with Thomas Hauser and Orla Battersby Picture: Sean Curtin/True Media

Nestlé’s first global R&D Centre in Ireland was opened today in Askeaton by Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, with Thomas Hauser and Orla Battersby Picture: Sean Curtin/True Media

A NEW research and development centre costing €27m was opened this Monday afternoon at the Nestlé-owned Wyeth Nutrition plant in Askeaton, County Limerick.

It is the company’s first such centre in Ireland and will have a staff of 40. The centre will carry out research and develop innovative solutions, adding to the company’s range of  premium milk powder products for infants, young children and mothers which it exports to world markets.

The new centre, completed following a three-year building programme, was formally opened by Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Thomas Hauser, Head of Global Product and Technology Development for Nestlé S.A.

Dan O’Callaghan, head of the new R&D Centre, speaking at the opening explained: “Between our pilot plant and laboratories, we have installed state-of-the-art food processing equipment and analytical instruments. We will also complement our in-house activities through collaborative research programmes with Irish universities and with Teagasc - the Agriculture and Food Development Authority. This will enable our cross-functional team of research scientists to develop the next wave of innovative nutritional products to meet the demands of future generations.”

“Our Irish R&D Centre will benefit from Nestlé’s global R&D network and help to position Nestlé at the fore of infant and maternal nutritional product development, one of Nestlé’s most important growth drivers,” said Thomas Hauser, Head of Global Product and Technology Development for Nestlé S.A., said at the opening event.

It would, he added, allow scientists “to explore innovative nutritional solutions for the crucial first 1,000 days of life.”

Minister Creed described the new centre “as a major signal of confidence in the future and quality of the Irish dairy industry”. 

“Nestlé’s decision to invest and open this centre further places Ireland internationally as a location that offers quality raw dairy materials combined with a highly educated and skilled workforce,” he added.