The newly opened Foodovation Centre at North West Regional College has been shortlisted as a finalist at the NI Year of Food and Drink Awards.
The centre, run by well-known chef Brian McDermott is in the top three of the ‘Growing for the Future’ Category, which also includes ‘Journey to Market’ by Causeway Glens and the Food Heartland Initiative in Armagh City.
The winners will be announced at a black tie dinner at the Culloden Hotel on Thursday, February 2.
Also included as a finalist is Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Food Festival which has been shortlisted in the Best NI Food Event .Fergal Tuffy, Technology Innovation Manager with NWRC’s Business Support centre said they were delighted to be shortlisted for the awards.
He added: “The Foodovation Centre, which opened in November 2016 is aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, artisan food producers and small and medium enterprises to develop new food and drink products for the market.”
“NWRC has supported more than 140 businesses over the past six years and this Centre will provide a lasting legacy to the 2016 NI Year of Food. The College plans to use the Centre to embed skills in industry and entrepreneurs in areas such as new product development, food photography and videography to ensure that businesses can continuously innovate and develop exportable products that will sell on a global market. This centre and the skills that it embeds in its users will ensure that the legacy of 2016 lasts well into the future.”
“Since the Centre’s official opening in November 2016, the response has been overwhelming. The visiting stakeholders feel that the College has delivered a centre that can assist the development of new products, embedding the skills and knowledge, and companies such as Carol’s Stock Market, Corndale Farm Chorizo, Primrose Café and Chocolate Manor are examples of companies that have already received invaluable support. We are able to leverage various types of funding such as the Department for Economy’s InnovateUs and Skills Focus programmes, Invest NI and Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Vouchers initiatives and the Connected programme to support entrepreneurs and businesses so we’d encourage anyone that has an idea to come and talk to us.“