The University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences has worked with the food and packaging industries to create a new Masters degree to drive innovation in these sectors.
The Master of Food and Packaging Innovation combines food science, packaging and product design with business skills like project management and entrepreneurship.
Food, confectionary and beverage manufacturer Mondelēz International identified this as an area that was underserved in tertiary education, and selected the University to create a Masters-level degree in 2013.
A cross-disciplinary team of University staff worked with industry advisers and research groups to design a degree that filled this gap.
Partners include Mondelēz International, Simplot Australia, Dairy Innovation Australia, the Food Innovation Centre and the Australian Institute of Packaging, which will assist with the delivery of packaging subjects.
The University’s Carlton Connect group will continue to engage industry partners on research and development opportunities across the wider University under the leadership of Professor Frank Dunshea, Chair of Agriculture.
Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, said the degree exemplifies the University’s keen interest in working with industry in teaching and research.
“The Master of Food and Packaging Innovation is exciting because it helps us tackle a number of critical needs – for new answers in global demand for food, for industry ready graduates across every sector, and for closer collaboration between universities and those on the front line of industry.”
Professor Davis pointed to other ongoing projects indicating the University’s continuing commitment to work with the food industry. Examples include the partnership with Mondelēz International on the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Hub ‘Unlocking the Food Value Chain,’ and the ARC ‘Dairy Innovation’ Hub, which is undertaking dairy science and engineering research.
“We are confident the new Masters program will promote innovation and bring about even stronger engagement between the tertiary sector and the food and packaging industries.”
Amanda Banfield, Mondelēz International Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, said it is important for large companies to invest in a training and development pipeline to sustain and grow their business.