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New Zealand Global Dairy Giant Fonterra launches new Research Centre in Ireland

27 Oct 2023
APC and Fonterra at the launch of the new research centre
  • Fonterra launches new Microbiome Research Centre in Ireland
  • Ireland was selected on the strength of the scientific excellence at APC and UCC
  • New probiotics will be investigated to develop solutions with a wide range of health and wellness benefits

October 27th, 2023 - Senior Fonterra Managers Dr Mark Malone and Dr Shalome Bassett were in Ireland this week to launch the ‘Fonterra Microbiome Research Centre (Ireland)’, their new collaboration with APC Microbiome Ireland (APC), a world leading SFI Research Centre based in University College Cork (UCC). This is the first time that the New Zealand-based global dairy producer will have established a team in Ireland. The Centre based on UCC campus will develop novel probiotic strains with targeted health benefits to tackle unmet consumer needs for natural, evidence-based products.

The development of this Centre builds on a successful research collaboration between Fonterra and APC over the previous four years. The Centre will support Fonterra’s aim to introduce a range of novel science-based probiotic strains into the market over the next five to ten years. APC Principal Investigator and UCC Professor Paul O’Toole spent several months on sabbatical at Fonterra's Research & Development Centre in New Zealand in 2022 which crystallized planning for the new Centre. An expanded research team is currently being recruited and the new Centre is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.


Dr Mark Malone, General Manager for Science and Technology, commented: “APC’s expertise in investigating microbiome-host interaction mechanisms makes it the perfect place to develop an evidence portfolio for new probiotics. Through our partnership with APC, we have been able to leverage their microbiome-based scientific excellence, and now the establishment of this new Fonterra Microbiome Research Centre marks another milestone in our journey. It will serve as a crucial hub for identifying and substantiating the health benefits of our probiotics, accelerating our ability to introduce innovative strains to the market with greater speed and precision and underpinning our commitment to delivering top-quality proprietary probiotic strains with well-documented health advantages.”


Professor Paul Ross, Director APC Microbiome Ireland, said: “It is crucial for APC to forge partnerships with industry partners to translate our research into products accessible to the general public. We have established a rewarding collaborative relationship with Fonterra and are very excited about the promise of Fonterra’s Microbiome Research Centre in our vicinity. Fonterra’s leadership in product development and commercialisation will significantly advance the development of novel probiotic strains with the potential for health benefits. APC celebrate 20 years of scientific excellence this year and the announcement of this new centre is a testament to this standing.

Professor John O’Halloran, UCC President, said: “The opening of this research centre reinforces the commitment APC shares with Fonterra to develop new, evidence-based products that support good health and well-being. Bringing together scientists, clinicians and industry, it is another significant step forward in our UCC Futures – Food, Microbiome and Health Strategy which aims to provide solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time.”


Dr Malone of Fonterra is also participating in a food and nutrition industry panel discussion during the annual APC Microbiome Ireland Annual Scientific Symposium held on October 27th at the Maryborough Hotel, Douglas, Cork. The one-day event included science based ‘lightning talks’ from 15 APC PhD researchers and a discussion on Public Patient Involvement in Inflammatory Bowel Disease research. 


Notes for Editors:

Media Queries:

  • Tina Darb, APC Microbiome Ireland, on 087 7826500 or tdarb@ucc.ie


About Fonterra    

Fonterra is a co-operative owned and supplied by farming families throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. Through the spirit of co-operation and a can-do attitude, Fonterra’s farmers and employees share the goodness of our milk through innovative consumer, foodservice and ingredients brands. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we’re committed to leaving things in a better way than we found them. We are passionate about supporting our communities by Doing Good Together.  





Host Institution

Host Logos - UCC and Teagasc

Partner Institutions

APC Microbiome Ireland

Biosciences Building, University College Cork, Ireland,