About the Food and Drink Business Development Centre

The Centre offers specialist teaching on aspects of Food and Drink business and provides business with evidence-informed research.


Evidence suggests that businesses which innovate grow nearly twice as quickly in both employment and turnover as non-innovators, helping to fuel the economic growth of a region.

With the challenge to feed a growing population, innovation is a key driver to maintaining Northern Ireland’s competitive position and global reputation.

The Centre provides a unique range of support tools to complement your business including the Consumer Insight Lab using Virtual Reality, our Big Data Hub utilising market intelligence and shopper loyalty card data, the Food and Consumer Sensory Testing suite for sensory evaluation and product development activity and The Academy Restaurant for testing product concepts for food service.

Through our accredited Masters programme, CPD courses and consultancy work the Centre offers expertise in the following areas: marketing, shopper insight, new product development, innovation, data analytics, business improvement and supply chain management.

Utilising Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and market intelligence in collaboration with our extensive network of professional, industry and policy organisations, we are advancing the industry’s understanding of how to innovate, develop product concepts and become thought leaders within their sector.

The Food and Drink Business Development Centre seeks to:

  1. Deliver courses to support knowledge and skills development in agri-food business which can be customised according to the needs of the company
  2. Support the Food and Drink Industry with academic and commercial research for business development and growth
  3. Provide the Food and Drink Industry policy makers with the best evidence available to help make policy decisions