Green light for agri-tech global hub at Tralee IT

Shane Burns pictured at work in the Dairymaster Global Headquarters plant in Causway Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh, Eye Focus
Shane Burns pictured at work in the Dairymaster Global Headquarters plant in Causway Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh, Eye Focus

Majella O'Sullivan.

A new global agri-tech centre of excellence has been given the green light following the announcement of €5m in funding from Enterprise Ireland.

The venture, the first of its type in Ireland, will be developed with the Institute of Technology Tralee and Kerry-based dairy equipment manufacturing company Dairymaster, with the support of Kerry County Council.

It will position Kerry as the national leader in agri-tech training, research and development and will enhance the county's agri-tech reputation internationally.

The centre, which will be headquartered at the Institute of Technology Tralee, is a joint venture between the Co Kerry third-level college and industry partners including Dairymaster, Abbey and McHales. The investment under the Enterprise Ireland-led Regional Enterprise Development Fund was announced by Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys yesterday.

The €5m announced for the agri-tech centre was the maximum grant aid allocated to projects. It is part of a €30.5m investment by Government to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs.

It is being hailed a major jobs and economic boost for the southwest.

Chief executive of Dairymaster Prof Edmond Harty has welcomed the announcement.

"It is a positive development for the sector nationally that both government and industry has shown commitment to this important industry, thereby assisting its continued growth and development into the future," he said.

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President of IT Tralee Dr Oliver Murphy said it would have both regional and national impact.

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