Broighter Gold and NWRC announce Innovate UK-funded R&D project

By Aoife Curran

North West Regional College’s (NWRC) Foodovation Centre has announced details of a new Innovate UK-funded Accelerated Knowledge Transfer (AKT) project with award-winning Limavady rapeseed oil company Broighter Gold.

This 4-month project, co-funded by InnovateUK, aims to analyse waste from Broighter Gold’s manufacturing process and explore opportunities to develop new revenue streams.

The Innovate UK Accelerated Knowledge Transfer (AKT) scheme supports a UK Higher Education (HE), Further Education (FE) institution, Research Organisation (RTO) or Catapult (the Knowledge Base partner), such as the NWRC in this case, to work with a UK registered business, charitable company, or charity, to deliver a short, rapid and targeted intervention to accelerate the evaluation or development of an innovation project or concept, which has the potential for significant impact for the business partner, which in this case is Broighter Gold.

Dr Fergal Tuffy, Technology Innovation Manager at the NWRC’s Business Support Centre said: “Innovate UK, is the UK’s innovation agency, whose aim is to drive productivity and economic growth in all UK regions, by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. NWRC has collaborated with Broighter Gold for a number of years and following the funding call announcement, we engaged with Leona at Broighter Gold to go through ideas that the business would like to explore.”

He continued: “We leveraged funding from the Department for Economy NI-funded Connected programme, which provided funding for the NWRC’s food innovation centre, – Foodovation, and our technical consultant in food technology, Karen Marran, to scope the business and market needs and collaborate with Broighter Gold to develop a business case and funding application which has now been successful.”

Stella Graham, Foodovation Manager, described the project as “an exciting opportunity for the Centre to extend their relationship with Broighter Gold.”

She added: “At Foodovation, we work with over 50 businesses annually across a wide range of food and drink segments, from meat and ready meals, to bakery, confectionary and drinks. Broighter Gold are innovators in their market and this project will allow Foodovation to collaborate with Leona and the team, to analyse waste and consider opportunities to create efficiencies and new revenue streams for the business.”

Leona Kane outlined Broighter Gold’s vision for the project:“We at Broighter Gold are a family-owned business who pride ourselves in ‘making good of the land’, ‘striving for sustainability’ and ‘zero waste,’ while growing our business through innovation and continuously evolving to bring our high-quality products to consumers. We have recently invested in a new state-of-the-art production line and now this AKT project with Foodovation will extend the relationship we have with Foodovation and the College and explore new opportunities through research and innovation. We are excited by the opportunity to work with Stella and Karen Marran at Foodovation and look forward to collaborating on the project.”

A group of people holding signs in a field of yellow flowers.
Dr Fergal Tuffy, NWRC BSC Technology Innovation Manager, Stella Graham, NWRC Foodovation Centre Manager, Karen Marran NWRC Foodovation technical consultant in food technology, and Leona Kane, Business Owner, Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil, announcing the new AKT collaboration.