Diageo is to invest €24m in making Ireland its global research and development centre for beer.
The new Centre of Excellence has received support from Enterprise Ireland.
Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan TD announced that the Government, through Enterprise Ireland, has approved support for Diageo Ireland to expand its R&D activity at its Dublin operations. Over the next three years, Diageo will invest €24m in expanding its R&D.
Projects are expected to contribute to increasing net sales value by €250m over three years with a significant percentage of this coming from export sales.
Tanaiste Coughlan said: “This is a highly strategic investment programme on behalf of Diageo, and the Government is very pleased to support it through Enterprise Ireland. This project makes the Dublin operation the innovation core of Diageo’s R&D activity within the Global Beer Technical Centre, and signals the very high value the company places on Ireland for its innovative capability, the quality of its research and development and as a provider of innovative, market-led products that can drive the growth of Diageo worldwide.”
Speaking on behalf of Diageo Ireland, Dr. Frank Lynch, Technology & Development Director at the Diageo Global Beer Technical Centre, said: “This investment programme at St James’s Gate in Dublin is critical for both the Diageo Group and for Diageo Ireland. It will directly contribute to achieving the growth targets set out in the Diageo PLC strategic plan for sales growth and market expansion in beer, and as such places Dublin right at the centre of our international growth strategy”.
Outlining the scale of the planned investment programme, he said the proposed R&D initiatives include: researching new brewing materials; beer concentrate process technologies, which are critical for market development; brewing technologies; liquid product development, for both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages; developing new packaging and dispensing solutions.
This investment follows on the company’s announcement earlier this year to invest over €650m in constructing a new brewing facility in Leixlip, Co Kildare and in upgrading the St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin. In 2005 all production was transferred from the Park Royal brewery in London to Dublin, and the Guinness brand administration function was also relocated here.