$7.5 million for Food Innovation in Tasmania

International Specialised Skills Institute / Fellow News  / $7.5 million for Food Innovation in Tasmania

ISS Institute is thrilled to learn that past fellow Tom Lewis’ company FermenTasmania has been awarded $7.5 million of Australian Government funding to build a global-first Fermentation Hub at Legana in Northern Tasmania. The funding was secured through the Building Better Regions Fund Infrastructure Project Stream. 

This funding builds a world-class food innovation facility 10km from the Launceston CBD at the gateway to the Tamar Valley. “This industry-led facility is a global first, with 1800 square meters of space to ferment beverages, food and even nutraceuticals and green energy,” says FermenTasmania Chair, Kim Seagram AM. “Not only is it a space for industry to play and innovate small scale commercial products, but it will also provide spaces for cutting edge research and development, hands-on training and even agritourism and fermentation experiences for locals and visitors alike.”

By building on Tasmania’s existing expertise in fermentation, and our international reputation for products such as wine, cheese, cider, gin and whisky, this project will create 650 direct and indirect jobs by 2030. “I’m absolutely thrilled with this outcome after several years of advocacy for this project,” says Member for Bass, Bridget Archer MP. “This marks a new era in green manufacturing opportunities in the West Tamar region and will be a game changer for the fermentation industry and agriculture in the state.”

This project started seven years ago as an idea to build on the strengths and assets of Northern Tasmania and develop these to create global connections and regional economic development. It has succeeded by building commercial links across industry, government, academia, consumers and community. This funding will be matched to $3.5 million from the West Tamar Council, $1.6 million of industry support and operational funding from Food Innovation Australia Ltd. FermenTasmania will be seeking additional funding from the Tasmanian Government and industry partners for the equipment and technology within the facility.

The Fermentation Hub, a proving ground for fermentation innovation, is also one of the key projects in the bid for Launceston and Northern Tasmania to be designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, the outcome of which will be announced in November this year.

“This industry-led Fermentation Hub is a global-first, with 1800 square metres to ferment food, beverage and even nutraceuticals and green energy,” says FermenTasmania Chair, Kim Seagram AM. “Our ISS Institute fellowship catalysed its development, allowing our team to visit global spaces and experts in fermentation. Not only has this informed our design, but it has also connected Tasmania to a global network. We are looking forward to sharing the skills we learned with the people and businesses connected to this facility.”