New Teagasc Ashtown Education, Research and Conference Centre Opened
A new Education, Research and Conference Centre at Teagasc Ashtown, Dublin was officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD today, Wednesday, 7 December.
On the Ashtown campus, there is now an integrated facility, covering Food Research, Horticultural Development, Forestry Development, Horticultural Education and Food Industry training.
Opening the facility, Minister Creed said: “In today’s rapidly changing geopolitical, economic and trade environment, it is more important than ever to explore the boundaries of science and technology when it comes to food. Innovation is the key to unlocking the value added in food raw materials, to improving competitiveness, and to providing a vital layer of insulation against the vagaries of highly volatile commodity markets. This is why this Teagasc development in Ashtown is so critically important, and I am delighted to be here at its launch.”
Teagasc Chairman, Dr. Noel Cawley said: “This €3 million investment in the Education, Research and Conference Centre is part of an overall investment of €6.5 million by Teagasc to relocate from Kinsealy to Ashtown. This followed the difficult decision taken during the recession years as part of the Teagasc Change Programme, to rationalise locations and reduce overhead costs.”
The investment in creating the Education, Research and Conference Centre, will provide the necessary additional training facilities for horticulture students on courses at the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens. The 116 seater lecture theatre and teaching laboratory are state-of-the-art.
The Conference Centre complements the provision of a dedicated Glasshouse, poly-tunnels, general utility building, and mushroom research facility which will be shared between forestry, horticulture and education.
This Conference centre provides additional reception area, meeting rooms and canteen facilities for all staff on the site, and can accommodate large groups visiting for conferences and seminars.
Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “Greater synergies are now possible between our research, demonstration and education activities in food, horticulture and forestry because we have laboratories, experimental plots, pilot plant facilities and classrooms within one campus.”
“This unique campus can now address the innovation needs of the meat/seafood/cereal based foods and horticultural sectors under one roof and allow easier access by firms to specialised infrastructure, education programmes and researchers,” he said.