RMIT has launched a new Food Research and Innovation Centre at its Bundoora campus to help boost Victoria’s contribution to the expanding food processing industry.
Wade Noonan, Minister for Industry and Employment, launched the facility this morning.
The centre is working with other partners, including Tatura Milk Industries, Lion Dairy and Drinks Australia, C.H.R. Hansen, Proportional Foods, Murray Goulburn, Coca Cola, Simplot, Australian Meat Processors Corporation and Manildra Group.
RMIT vice chancellor and president, Martin Bean CBE, said that in northern Melbourne alone there were about 400 food and beverage businesses with a turnover of more than $1 million, generating between them $2.6 billion a year.
“Most of these are small and medium enterprises that have the potential to double their business within a decade if they can overcome barriers to innovation, attract and retain a skilled workforce and create and implement more productive processes,” said Bean.
Bean said RMIT is a leader in food education and research, and the new centre is expected to boost Victoria’s contribution to the expanding food processing industry.
Food processing in Victoria employs more than 69,000 people and earns more than $8.7 billion a year in exports. Nationally, the sector constitutes 30 per cent of Australian manufacturing, employs more than 220,000 people and generates more than $55 billion in exports annually.
Professor Harsharn Gill, director of the Food Research and Innovation Centre, said: “Students, researchers and food businesses have access to equipment and facilities that are unparalleled in this state.
“On just one floor, we can develop new food products, optimise processing protocols and test food for impurities, consistency, nutritional value, sensory perception and taste.”
RMIT scientists and students are already working with Sanitarium to make its Get Up and Go product even more attractive to the market. The team has also collaborated with a new Victorian company, Nuchev, to create an infant formula made from organic goat’s milk that comes from a farm near Clunes.