How and Where?
The roof is on the Tourism & Hospitality building at Munster Technological University (MTU) which is based in Cork, Ireland. Located outside of the city and positioned on an elevated site, the Tourism and Hospitality building benefits from a feeling of openness with views of the natural environment. The Department encompasses the areas of Culinary Arts, Tourism, Hospitality Management & Home Economics. It has some 500 students and a team of dedicated student-centred industry experienced lecturers. The Department is located in a modern purpose-built building and is a leading provider of education in the culinary domain. It hosts 7 professional kitchens, as well as a 50-seater restaurant, a 100-seater Dining Hall for events, a training bar and a fully equipped culinary demonstration theatre.
The Department of Tourism and Hospitality aims to maintain and build on its leadership role in providing innovative and challenging programmes with a central ethos focussing on sustainability. The aim of this project is firstly to provide fresh produce to meet the needs of these training programmes. Next, it will allow academics and researchers to develop, and test different food production systems. There will be a focus on investigation of optimal novel technologies in greenhouse and outdoor food crop production. Research emanating from the project will also focus on supporting the sustainable development of small and medium scale growers in Ireland. It will be a new basis for current MTU environmental and biodiversity research. Research on yield, nutritional and sensory outcomes of novel emerging crops, currently imported from outside EU will potentially enhance strategic and sustainability targets by developing models for local regional production. The data available from this project shows potential benefits accruing in Building Energy reduction of up to 8%, reduction of the building carbon footprint, and reducing transport carbon footprint (as our aim is to eliminate deliveries).
Although the project will be managed by the Department of Tourism & Hospitality at MTU, the project is based in a large-scale multi-campus University. MTU is home to over 18,000 students, and over 2000 staff. This project has the potential to build further research synergies across a multitude of disciplines and build research capacity in areas such as culinary arts, nutritional sciences, agriculture, horticulture, environmental engineering, as well as commercialisation opportunities (through the Rubicon Centre commercialisation centre)