Cork will spearhead Ireland’s drive to emulate the success of Holland’s Food Valley concept by seeking to market the combined expertise of Moorepark, UCC and Munster Technological University (MTU) under the combined banner of Slí Bia.

The new initiative, The Dealer understands, will seek to lever the established food research capabilities of all three institutions to develop a region of excellence.

Floating the idea recently, Teagasc director Professor Gerry Boyle, said the Slí Bia concept will build on Cork’s established reputation as a renowned food processing centre.

It also has the potential to act as a magnet for top-class food scientists, as well as creating the environment and opportunities for spin-out companies to develop, Prof Boyle maintained.

The Food Valley at Wageningen, Holland, is home to around 15,000 professional in food-related sciences and processing, and a large number of food multinationals.