The new multi-million pound cutting-edge facility, designed to improve current food engineering processes, address the sector skills gap, and boost the competitiveness of the country's largest manufacturing sector, was officially opened by Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis MBE MP.
The Centre's facilities and expertise will focus on tackling food industry challenges such as productivity, sustainability through minimising waste and reducing energy use, and addressing the health agenda. It will also support 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 Attercliffe, Sheffield, includes pilot-scale production facilities, laboratories, workshops and teaching spaces. Students and engineers can also access the plant room - the beating heart of the facility - to control and study the building's bespoke environment.
The Centre and associated food engineering degree and degree apprenticeship provision have been developed in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAF&D).
The new Centre has been made possible with funding from partners including £2.78 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £6.92 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE, whose responsibilities have now been taken over by the Office for Students and Research England) and £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.
"It's inspiring to see our region once again leading the way with cutting-edge university and industry collaborations. I'm proud that the Sheffield City Region was able to support this important development with more than £600,000 in Local Growth funding."
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region