Case Study

Cardiff Metropolitan University     Back to universities

Cardiff Met’s ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre: Key partner in a £21 million food innovation project to strengthen Wales’ food and drink sector

  • Knowledge transfer activity delivered though ZERO2FIVE results in increased company turnover for Welsh food and drink businesses, new products and jobs.
  • The University’s ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre is one of three Welsh food centres that has developed Welsh Government’s Project HELIX.
  • Project HELIX is a £21 million programme to strengthen Wales’ food and drink sector and is expected to safeguard 2,000 jobs and deliver over £100 million for the Welsh economy.

Cardiff Metropolitan University’s ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, Food Centre Wales based in Ceredigion and the Food Technology Centre, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai form the collaborative Welsh Government-funded body Food Innovation Wales (FIW.) FIW has developed Project HELIX to provide funding support for research into global food production, trends and waste to help small to medium sized food manufacturers across Wales increase production and reduce waste.

Project HELIX is funded through the Rural Development Programme (RDP) and is expected to create 370 new jobs, primarily in rural Wales and the Valleys, while safeguarding a further 2,000 jobs over the next five years.

The project takes into consideration new challenges and opportunities facing the industry including the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The outputs will provide Welsh producers with the best opportunity for growth and economic impact.

Project HELIX will support food manufacturers in:

  • Innovation – fast-tracking new, innovative products and food company start-ups
  • Efficiency – assisting businesses to reduce waste during food processing thereby securing costs savings and waste reduction
  • Strategy – seeking to ensure a world-class industry through advanced skills in key areas, such as food technology

Project HELIX is an ambitious initiative, building on the success ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre and Food Technology Centre, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai had with the previous KITE Project (Knowledge Innovation Technology Exchange). KITE was an EU and Welsh Government-funded programme to facilitate proactive partnerships between small and medium food businesses, graduates or individuals with industry experience and Welsh Food Centres.

Over 120 knowledge transfer programmes have been delivered at ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, these have resulted in an increased turnover of £103 million for Welsh food and drink businesses, creating over 580 jobs and launching over 500 new products to market.

The centre is one of excellence, where experts include internationally acclaimed specialists in Food Science, Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Legislation, Environmental Health, Trading Standards, New Product Development, Food Safety and Biomedical Sciences. Much of the research carried out is, like Project HELIX, interdisciplinary and collaborative between Government, industry and academics.

Professor David Lloyd, Director of the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre and Vice-Chairman of the Wales Food and Drink Industry Board, said: ‘We want the industry to be innovative in a variety of disciplines, from improving nutritional standards and new product development in response to health and well-being challenges to retail and market trends. Our aim is to put Wales on the global food and drink map, and to do that, HELIX will provide high levels of support such as identifying business people who want to invest or advising food manufacturers on technical standards and regulations.’