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Business & Economy

ITS and partners win £1.36m of funding for major food safety project

Teesside-headquartered Industrial Technology Systems Limited (ITS) has won £1.36m of funding for a three-year Innovate UK project with two commercial partners, two universities and a renowned research institute, concentrating on aspects of food safety standards in potato, cereal, bread and other food products.

The overall project cost of this industry-led project amounts to £1.99m and has attracted £1.36m worth of funding support from Innovate UK. The project, which runs until January 31 2021, involves ITS working with Teesside University, Abertay University in Dundee, The James Hutton Institute and commercial partners.

The highly complementary consortium will develop new chemical measurement, sampling, assessment and control techniques for enhanced food safety standards.

Abertay Dundee University food scientists will look at tuber protection and work with the James Hutton Institute to develop new applications to improve tuber qualities. Teesside University will assist with data analysis.

Project leader ITS, a specialist automation systems developer and integrator which operates out of offices in Middlesbrough and Warrington, will design and implement the measurement and control system for the project.

Resulting intellectual property from the project will be owned by ITS, which will aim to exploit the new measurement and control system across the global food production industry, where potato, cereal, bread and other food products are created.

ITS specialises in the design and implementation of management information and process control systems, regulatory compliance services, project management and engineering services and vision systems across highly regulated and high safety requirement industries.

Malcolm Knott, managing director of ITS, said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding, for a project which could ultimately prove to be a significant breakthrough in food safety standards. Together with our partners, we make a formidable research team and we look forward to working together over the next three years.’’

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency and is sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The James Hutton Institute, which has two main sites in Aberdeen and Dundee, is one of the leading research centres in the UK for crop and environmental science.

According to the Guardian University Guide for 2018, Abertay University was the leader amongst universities delivering food and drink programmes in Scotland.