Nestlé opens new global maternal and infant nutrition R&D center in Ireland

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22 Jan 2019 --- Nestlé has inaugurated its first Research and Development Centre in Ireland at its existing manufacturing facility in Limerick, marking the completion of a three-year building program with a capital investment of €27 million (US$30.65 million). The new R&D center will focus on scientific research to support innovations in the development of milk-based maternal and infant nutrition products for the global market. 

The center was formally opened by Michael Creed, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; and Thomas Hauser, Head of Global Product and Technology Development for Nestlé S.A.

More than 40 research staff are employed at the R&D Centre, which is co-located with Nestlé’s Wyeth Nutrition manufacturing plant. Wyeth Nutrition Ireland produces a range of premium milk powder products for infants, young children and mothers for export to world markets.

“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,” Hauser said at the opening event. “With this new center, we will increase the pace of our innovation capacity by enabling our scientists to explore innovative nutritional solutions for the crucial first 1,000 days of life.”

The R&D Center will seek to develop premium, science-based products for mothers and infants. It incorporates state-of-the-art laboratory facilities as well as a full pilot-scale manufacturing line to facilitate the development, and testing of new products from initial concept through to product deployment. Enterprise Ireland supported the project investment.

“This is a strategically important investment for Ireland by the world’s largest food and beverage company. We are honored to have a world-leading research facility that provides a cutting-edge scientific base to develop new products that will bring health benefits to infants, children and mothers worldwide,” states Creed. “Nestlé’s decision to invest and open this center further places Ireland internationally as a location that offers quality raw dairy materials combined with a highly educated and skilled workforce. It is a major signal of confidence in the future and quality of the Irish dairy industry.”

Also attending the official opening were Patrick O’Donovan, Irish Minister of State, Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Orla Battersby, Divisional Manager, Enterprise Ireland, and Thierry Philardeau, Head of Nestlé’s Nutrition Strategic Business Unit.

Dan O’Callaghan, Head of the new R&D Center, speaking at the event stated: “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.”

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