Food-Tracing Spin Out Secures Funding to Further Develop Traceability Product

Posted on: 30 April 2015

Trinity spin-out company, IdentiGEN, has secured growth capital investment from a fund backed by Enterprise Ireland to further develop its traceability product which allows food retailers, processors and producers to trace the source of food products as they move through the food supply chain.

IdentiGEN, which now employs 60 people, has just secured an investment from MML Growth Capital Partners, a €125 million fund supported by Enterprise Ireland. The company was founded by researchers Ciaran Meghen and Dr Ronan Loftus along with Dr David MacHugh, Professor of Population Genetics Dan Bradley and Professor of Animal Genetics Patrick Cunningham from a research group in the Department of Genetics, Trinity College, where its genetic identification methodology was developed.   This technology emerged as a result of basic research into cattle fingerprinting coupled with the emergence of BSE (mad cow disease) which focused attention on opportunities to employ genetic technologies to assure consumers of the safety and integrity of meat.

The company pursued the technology further, pioneering the commercial-scale integration of sophisticated genetic technologies with industrial-scale meat processing and retailing. IdentiGEN became the first company to deliver and implement an operational and scaleable DNA traceability solution for 100% of the fresh beef distributed by a national food retailer and the first anywhere to leverage this technology into consumer markets.

"The IdentiGEN success story is a great example of how world-class research and training in Irish universities can translate into sustainable job creation, significant exports and world-leading business," said Dr Diarmuid O’Brien, Director of Trinity Research and Innovation.

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