Choose New Jersey Business Attraction Mission to Ireland Continues with Visit in Cork

Choose New Jersey delegation participated in roundtable discussion with Cork Chamber of Commerce;
University College Cork and Rutgers University signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

CORK, IRELAND – Choose New Jersey continued their business attraction mission in Cork, Ireland today. The delegation participated in a roundtable discussion with the Cork Chamber of Commerce followed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing between University College Cork and Rutgers University.

Cork Chamber of Commerce Business Briefing and Roundtable Discussion

In the morning, the Cork Chamber of Commerce hosted a roundtable with key stakeholders from Choose New Jersey, the Cork Chamber of Commerce and the wider Cork region to help build relationships and increase economic ties. As the leading business organization in Cork, the Cork Chamber of Commerce is committed to growing the presence of its members in North America. Ireland and New Jersey are both advancing innovation economies and share similar key industries such as life sciences, medical devices, Financial Technology (FinTech), and food.

“We are delighted to welcome the New Jersey delegation to Cork here today,” said Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber of Commerce. “Our Chamber has a strong annual programme of international activities, which includes supporting our members to make connections in new markets and helping them expand their international networks. The synergies with New Jersey in terms of our strengths in similar sectors provide an opportunity for collaboration and potential joint initiatives and we look forward to working together in the future.”

University College Cork – Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey MOU Event in Cork

The New Jersey business delegation announced a formal collaboration between University College Cork (UCC), Rutgers University and their Food Science Programs. The MOU between Rutgers University and UCC establishes a New Jersey-Ireland AgriFood Innovation Alliance, creating a unique collaboration between the universities focused on scientific research, education, technology commercialization, international business attraction, public-private partnerships, mentoring and business incubation. The formal collaboration will further the development of AgriFood industries in both Ireland and New Jersey. The MOU was signed by Dr. Peggy Brennan of Rutgers University and Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President and Registrar of UCC.

UCC has a deep legacy in Food research, with roots going back to the 19th century and the establishment of its Dairy Science program. Now, UCC has over 1,100 students studying across 25 undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Food-related area, and a dedicated Food Institute to foster research and learning in this discipline.

“This alliance with Rutgers University will foster new and exciting opportunities for both of our universities to collaborate together, at a time where the global focus is on sustainable and nutritious food production,” said Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President & Registrar, University College Cork (UCC). “We welcome this opportunity to engage closely with our American counterparts and to work together to provide solutions to mutual agri-food challenges.”

New Jersey boasts a thriving $126 billion food industry and agricultural sector that continues to grow daily. The Garden State is home to more than 50,000 food manufacturing companies, R&D facilities, distribution centers, retailers, and farms – employing more than 440,000 people. According to Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the AgriFood sector is an integral part of Ireland’s economy, accounting for 12.3 percent of total exports and 8.4 percent of the workforce.

“Food and agriculture are major economic sectors in New Jersey, as they are in Ireland,” said Dr. Peggy Brennan, Executive Director, Economic Development and Innovation and Associate Director, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.  “Rutgers University is excited about the opportunity to build a strong relationship with University College Cork and work towards creating a bi-national AgriFood Innovation Alliance that benefits these sectors in both our regions.”

Today’s visit is part of a multi-city business attraction mission. Ireland and New Jersey are closely aligned in their strategy to create an innovation economy, and both economies have thriving FinTech, life sciences, medical device and food industry economies. The Choose New Jersey delegation includes nearly 20 representatives of New Jersey’s leading businesses, universities, and non-profit organizations to increase economic ties between New Jersey and Ireland. Throughout the trip, the delegation will be showcasing New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem and why New Jersey is the best place for the international community to do business.

About Choose New Jersey

Choose New Jersey, Inc. is a privately funded non-profit economic development organization charged with encouraging and nurturing economic growth throughout New Jersey. The organization offers companies that locate or expand their operations in the State a variety of complimentary services including market intelligence, site visits, State assistance information and connections to a wide range of public and private professional services. For more information, visit

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