North East Centre of Excellence for Food and Drink Industry

"Professor Wayne Powell speaks at the launch event for the SeedPod – the new food hub for the North East of Scotland"

A food and drink development hub for the north east of Scotland has secured £10 million of capital funding from the UK and Scottish Governments.

Announced today by Opportunity North East (ONE), SeedPod will be a new-build facility located on SRUC’s Craibstone campus close to Aberdeen International Airport and the city’s Western Peripheral Route.

It will be the centre of excellence for nurturing and growing food and drink businesses in north east Scotland.

Led by private sector catalyst ONE, SeedPod – which is due to open in 2022 - and is the single largest public sector investment in the food and drink industry in Scotland, with funding secured through the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

SeedPod will provide the tools, knowledge and training to help fledgling and established companies to identify new markets, drive growth and adopt cutting edge production technologies, rapidly increasing profitability and capitalising upon the region’s assets and collaborative links.

It will also create an innovative environment for the development of products that meet burgeoning consumer demand for novel food types, emerging trends and alternative proteins, driving the sustainability agenda.

The SeedPod will provide

  • Programmes for incubating and accelerating start-ups
  • World market insights and new product development
  • Display/presentation areas
  • Co-working and meet-up/collaboration space
  • Digital process innovation and supply chain technology
  • Incubator commercial grade food manufacturing units
  • Development kitchen incorporating the latest technology
  • Pilot production plant demonstration space
  • Training and skills development.

Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC said: “We are delighted that the SeedPod is to be co-located on our campus at Craibstone. This new building marks the start of an exciting future for SRUC in Aberdeen. We’re looking forward to collaborating with ONE and all the partners to realise the ambitions of the SeedPod to grow the food and drink sector in the north east of Scotland and across the whole of the country.”

The Aberdeen City Region Deal is a partnership between Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, ONE, UK Government and Scottish Government.

Patrick Machray OBE, Chair of the ONE Food, Drink & Agriculture sector board and Food Hub (NES) Limited - the new company formed to deliver the SeedPod project, said: “ONE’s ambition with industry is to grow the sector in the region by 5 per cent per annum, doubling outputs and exports by 2030. SeedPod will deliver this ambition by building upon ONE’s existing food, drink and agriculture activity and driving further engagement, growth and innovation. It will be the go-to place for evolving existing businesses, inspire and develop the next generation of producers in the region, and deliver national impacts for the sector.”

SeedPod will also be a focal point for connecting businesses with the significant research base in the University of Aberdeen and its Rowett Institute, Robert Gordon University, SRUC and the James Hutton Institute.

Posted by SRUC on 20/01/2020

Tags: Craibstone, Funding and Grants, Food and Drink
Categories: SRUC and Campuses | Consulting and Commercial