Dairy Crest and Harper Adams University have announced plans for a new collaboration, which should result in a key innovation centre dedicated to dairy.

The centre could be built at the Shropshire university as part of a “unique collaboration” announced on Monday (9 September) between both parties.

The collaboration will allow Dairy Crest to work with the university and link into leading research in the agricultural and food science areas, as well as providing a purpose-built food innovation centre on the university’s campus.

It will further strengthen existing links between Dairy Crest and Harper Adams, the UK’s leading food and agricultural university.

Dairy Crest said the new partnership will increase its productive activities in food and dairy product innovation and creativity through interaction with the university’s academics.

Harper Adams said it will gain from the support the company can provide to the university’s curriculum with opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates to apply their skills and knowledge in an industrial setting.

Dairy Crest has a target to deliver 10% of year-on-year growth from new product development, with scientific research, technology and product development at the core of this objective.

Roger Emery, Dairy Crest’s group technical and compliance director, said: “This new collaboration will be a mutual relationship. As well as strengthening links, the project will open new opportunities for both parties to work together and support the development of future technical professionals for the food industry.”

Dr David Llewellyn, Harper Adams University’s vice-chancellor, added: “This is an important step for both Dairy Crest and Harper Adams.

“In a world where issues of food security and sustainability are now at the top of political and agri-food industry agendas, finding ways to increase the interaction and knowledge flow between academia and the food industry for commercial and societal benefits is going to become more important.”

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