Building a Globally Connected Food Innovation District in Ireland….
Meath Enterprise is a commercially focused local government (Not-For-Profit) enterprise development company with a remit / mission to drive local, regional and national enterprise development through the provision of business incubation and support services, collaboration, clustering and creative thinking.
Meath Enterprise is developing and delivering various local, regional and national projects and initiatives that support the development of Startups and SME’s in Ireland such as;
- Startup & Micro SME Accelerators,
- Business Investor Networks,
- SME Scaling Programmes,
- Clustering, Incubation Services & Facilities
- Training & Mentoring Services,
- Enterprise Events & Networking Opportunities,
One of these projects, the Boyne Valley Food Innovation District – BVFID (a subsidiary company of Meath Enterprise), aims to create a food cluster / network that will facilitate the scalable expansion of qualified Food Startups and SME’s into global market opportunities. The BVFID will find opportunities in global and emerging markets and then match these opportunities to indigenous Irish Food Startups and SME’s who have the capability and ambition to go global. We will then plug these companies into the system, connect them to existing channels (routes to market) and manage their development to ensure success therefore creating a qualified pipeline of investable propositions for investors while also supporting long term sustainable economic development throughout all regions.
The BVFID project has the support of all the relevant local and national government agencies, research institutions, universities and food SME’s including Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) who will potentially match fund viable projects and/or investable propositions that can have a significant regional and national economic development impact.
The Boyne Valley Food Hub (BVFH), a flagship project of the Boyne Valley Food Innovation District, is being developed at the existing Meath Enterprise Centre in Navan and aims to develop an innovation-rich building and stimulus project to accelerate growth and yield business impact through collaboration, innovation, and clustering, thereby facilitating the development of scalable, sustainable and profitable food businesses across the Mideast and Northeast regions.
The Boyne Valley Food Hub will transform 790m² of enterprise space at the Navan site into food grade facilities with 9 units available for start-up and scaling food businesses, a timeshare development kitchen and food R&D Lab, Sensory Testing facilities, a food specific co-working hub and a knowledge lab to create higher levels of connectivity, collaboration and innovation in the food and drink sector. The BVFH will officially open in Q4 2022 and the medium to long term objective is to develop the entire 85,000 square foot Navan facility to support food Startups and SMEs to scale globally.
Meath Enterprise and BVFID are also in the early stages of developing specific infrastructural projects, collaboration and training initiatives in the technology sector that will focus primarily on Food & Ag-Tech, FinTech, Digital, AR-AI, Blockchain, Robotics and Machine Learning while our business networks provide direct access to all other sectors nationwide.
A planning application has been submitted to Meath County Council for a new 28,000 sq ft Digital Innovation and Smart Agri Hub (PHASE 2) that will support the development and scalable expansion of Irish Foodtech and Agtech startups and SMEs.
The BV Digital Innovation and Smart Agri Hub (BVDISAH) aspires to bring together the fields of accelerated business and entrepreneurship, education, technology and research, to create a leading edge, multidisciplined centre of excellence, interfacing the Foodtech and Agtech sectors, in Navan Co. Meath, in the Mid-East Region with national and international impact. The BVDISAH mission is simple: to provide the right structure and environment to enable forward-thinking, highly ambitious food and agtech disruptors and entrepreneurs to benefit through access to;
• Space and technical supports – a new 28,000 sq ft build digital transformation innovation centre over 4 floors (compact growth commitment) built on an underutilised site to the front of the existing Enterprise Centre in Navan. Beyond the building, it will provide SME innovation and accelerator supports regionally and nationally.
• Digital transformation of SMEs and people/talent pool (increasing productivity, future of work and digital inclusion)
• Collaborations and future proofing regional ecosystem in consideration of climate and supply chain systems in a changing environment)
Meath Enterprise have also launched a new state of the art Digital Media Lab / Video Production and Broadcasting Studio in Navan and are also developing a new Tech Lab / Maker Space with 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC equipment and technologies being made available to support enterprise development, innovation and training.
Meath Enterprise are unique in their approach to supporting enterprise. We focus on finding solutions to problems that actually exist and we engage directly with global organisations to learn how-to based on global best practice.
Some of our global partners include;
- Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) – https://genglobal.org
- Startup Genome – https://startupgenome.com
- Kauffman Foundation – https://www.kauffman.org
- Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) – https://www.eonetwork.org
Regional Development, Clustering, Rural Regeneration, Remote / Smart Working, Food Innovation and Sustainability are just some of the important elements of the vital services we seek to provide across the County and beyond. These factors are changing the approach of government departments when it comes to making decisions on policy and funding so it is very important that we, as an enterprise development vehicle representing all stakeholders in the region, have a strong voice that shows real leadership when it comes to tackling these issues.
Providing creative and innovative economic development options and solutions that can have positive long-term sustainable impacts on economic and social prosperity of the many rural and urban communities we support is a core part of why we exist. We want to develop long term relationships that are based on trust, a willingness to collaborate and an ambition to succeed. We believe, with the right partners, anything is possible and we have a very open minded, flexible and entrepreneurial approach to doing business and driving regional development.