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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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The £10m project has confirmed investment from HEFCE's Economic Catalyst fund and will be fully operational by autumn 2017.

The Food sector is the UK's largest manufacturing sector employing 400,000 people and has ambitious targets for growth, employment and sustainability.  Industry challenges include healthy products, food standards, environmental impact and energy consumption and the need for more highly skilled engineers.   

Partners companies include Nestle, Mondelez, Premier Foods, Spirax Sarco and Festo.  

The NCEFE will promote growth and competiveness by providing engineering and advanced manufacturing solutions to industry challenges e.g. productivity, quality, sustainability, environmental impact, waste and food safety.

The NCEFE will also connect SMEs with national and international food manufacturing supply chain opportunities, developing new advanced manufacturing applications for a nationally important industry sector; creating new routes to market through collaborative R&D, and driving innovation in a sector that is dependent on a highly skilled workforce and technology based solutions.

Project information

Catalyst funding £6,920,000
Total project funding £12,310,000
Project contact Dr Martin Howarth BSc PhD CEng MIET
Tel 0114 225 5903

Page last updated 25 January 2015

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