Global food group Kerry has today opened its new technology and innovation centre in the Millennium Business Park in Naas, Co Kildare.

The new €100m centre, on a 28 acre site, will serve Kerry's global and regional customers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. 

The centre supports 800 research, product commercialisation, business development and business support jobs and will also accommodate a further 100 positions by the end of 2016.

The investment project was supported by the Department of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland and is the largest single investment in food innovation ever by a company in Ireland. 

"Our new global technology and innovation centre will serve as a focal point for Kerry's customer engagement activities providing key customers with access to the group's complete breadth and depth of technologies, scientific research, innovation and applications expertise, across food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets," commented Kerry's CEO Stan McCarthy. 

"In addition it will serve as the group's global centre of excellence for nutrition and will optimise product differentiation in the marketplace while providing unrivalled speed to market," Mr McCarthy added. 

The new plant was officially opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who said that the €100m investment by Kerry Group is a welcome vote of confidence in Ireland and a great boost for the local economy in Naas.

The opening was also attended by Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.