Kerry Group recently opened up its $50 million Innovation and Technical Center in Beloit, Wis., to bring together its business management and shared services, research, development and applications teams under one roof.

Participating in the inauguration of the new 250,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art center was Wisconsin’s Gov. Jim Doyle, along with Kerry Group’s chief executive officer Stan McCarthy, its board of directors, customers and employees.

In response to the Ireland-based company’s methodology in meeting customer-specific innovation requirements and product solutions to the American food and beverage industries, the center now provides access to Kerry’s ingredients and flavor technologies through its customer application suites, culinary theatres, sensory services and customer application pilot production facilities.

Additionally, the facility houses 21 R&D labs with 200 food scientists, an indoor fitness center and a fully equipped cafeteria. The center employs nearly 550 workers.

Furthermore, the Kerry Center received the “Designed to Earn the Energy Star” award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy for its green efforts in saving money and protecting the environment through its energy-efficient products and practices.

The center was also given a “Wisconsin Focus on Energy” grand and is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.