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Western Australia to Launch New Food Tech Facility

Image Credits: Murdoch University, Press Release

Food innovation in Western Australia is set to reach new heights after the State Government, Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre, Shire of Murray and Murdoch University combined forces to develop an AU$ 13.6 million Food Technology Facility.

The facility is currently under construction and is scheduled for operation later this year. Underpinned by a previous $21.75 million Federal award through the Regional Growth Fund, the founding parties have planned together and are now delivering this state-of-the-art common user food production facility.

The FTF will deliver a vital, and currently missing, piece of the food production, value-added and innovation puzzle in Western Australia. It is located on the campus of the Food Innovation Precinct, WA (FIPWA) in the Peel Business Park in Nambeelup. Together with the Research and Development Facility and Innovation Centre at the Precinct, the FTF will be used to facilitate food innovation and development, significantly reducing the risk and extra costs involved and benefitting the WA food industry and consumers.

FIPWA will become an ecosystem of small-to-medium enterprises, research and development institutions, and wider industry players including international agri-innovation firms and government entities providing local and global entrepreneurs, food companies, and agri-enterprises an environment in which to research, develop and commercialise new value-added food products.

The Western Australia state government has provided over AU$ 9 million in funding and Murdoch University’s Food Futures Institute is contributing over AU $2 million to deliver the operations of the facility and the Future Food Systems CRC is providing an additional $2.6 million.

Future Food Systems’ Research and Commercialisation Director Professor Cordelia Selomulya says the FTF represents a big step forward for Western Australia, the nation and ultimately, the world, helping food producers make more and better from less.

Professor Selomulya stated that by encouraging commercially-focused research and development, producers can be helped to turn low-value raw commodities into high-value, healthy, sustainably created products that ‘conscious consumers’ across Australia and the world will pay a premium for.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor R&I, Professor Peter Davies, believes the FTF will position WA to significantly transform much of its primary produce into value-added products. He noted that Murdoch University is excited to work with the State Government, FFS-CRC and the Shire of Murray to deliver food innovation research services in Regional WA.

The agreement between the parties represents an important milestone in the delivery of the FTF. More importantly, they forward to commissioning the facility in the coming months and welcoming WA industry and industry entrepreneurs to the campus.

The global food tech market is projected to reach a value of USD 342.52 Billion by 2027, according to a recent analysis. This growth can be owed to the increasing adoption of advanced technologies in food processing techniques for improving food safety and efficiency of production processes.

Food processing companies are increasing investments into the adoption and deployment of robotics and automation across processes in the food industry, resulting in more hygienic processes, faster production, and higher capacity output.

In addition, the growing availability of fresh products and improved visibility through online channels has resulted in increasing demand and consumption, which is driving the growth of the food-tech market. Food industries are investing significantly in automation and digitalisation in order to meet the growing demand for food due to the rapid population growth. Moreover, the rising demand for healthier, cheaper, safer and more hygienic food products is driving market growth.

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