The Sheffield City Region has long been renowned for its manufacturing base but did you know we are now home to a new multi-million pound cutting-edge facility, designed to improve current food engineering processes?
Operated by Sheffield Hallam University, the NCEFE (National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering) was officially opened in October and aims to address the sector skills gap and boost the competitiveness of the country’s largest manufacturing sector.
The Centre’s facilities and expertise focus on tackling food industry challenges, such as productivity, sustainability through minimising waste, reducing energy use and addressing the health agenda. It is also supporting the food and drink industry by developing new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment and creating a knowledgeable and skilled workforce.
The new research-led centre, which is based in the region, includes pilot-scale production facilities, laboratories, workshops and teaching spaces.
The new Centre has been made possible with funding from partners including £619,000 from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
NCEFE collaborates with global and national businesses including Siemens, Nestle, Quorn and Arla Foods as well as local SMEs such as Dext Heat Recovery and JJA Pack.
Professor Martin Howarth, director of the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, said: “I am delighted to be officially launching our new Centre. Not only are we supporting regional and national businesses and SMEs by researching and developing creative solutions to a range of existing and emerging food industry challenges, we are creating highly skilled, highly knowledgeable graduates with the practical experience needed to really make a difference, in this vital industry and beyond.”
Ian Wright CBE, Chief Executive of the Food and Drink Federation, said: “Today’s opening of NCEFE is a major step forward in both safeguarding the future workforce of the food and drink industry and in helping deliver collaborative solutions for innovation.
“The establishment of NCEFE will be a major contribution to building a pipeline of highly talented engineering graduates heading into careers in food and drink manufacturing.
“This is a real example of the industry working alongside academia to solve businesses specific challenges. We are delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to work with Professor Howarth and his team on such an ambitious and much-needed project.”
Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Sheffield Hallam has established itself at the leading edge in the food and drink sector for excellent research, our partnerships with industry and knowledge transfer offer – this world- class facility now builds on that foundation.
“We are also very proud of the regenerative contribution NCEFE will make to the local community, providing a tangible vision and ambition for this part of the city’s offer in terms of jobs, skills, the local economy, infrastructure and the location.”
Find out more about the University’s role in innovation, development, manufacturing and commercialisation of medical and healthcare technology solutions.