Food group Glanbia today officially opened its new Innovation Centre in Kilkenny.

The centre is supported by Enterprise Ireland and involves an investment of €15m over five years. It currently employs 42 research scientists with this number set to increase to 52 in October when a further 700 sq metre expansion is complete.

Opening the centre, Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Micheál Martin said its establishment is an important strategic development for both Glanbia and the Irish food industry.

'Reform of the Common Agriculture Policy as well as changes at WTO level has led to fundamental shifts in the Irish food sector,' the Minister said.

'The future lies in the development of new and innovative high value added health enhancing food products through the application of science, technology and innovation,' he added.