Food processing sector in India is still in a nascent stage and deserves better attention from the government in enhancing the capacity in this sector in coming years. NIFTEM will be an initiative in that direction giving boost to this sector by means of technological and scientific interventions and by enhancing capacity through its traditional and non-traditional educational and research programs relating to food sciences and allied disciplines. Based on the intensive interaction with food industry professionals, a clear need was felt to produce leaders/managers in this emerging sector as there is clear shortfall in the number of food science and food technology professionals. Taking cognizance of incremental need of managers and early career professionals, new focus on food science and technology research in public system, need for professionals for regulatory management, outreach etc, NIFTEM will try to fill the demand supply gap.

NIFTEM will be the first national research centre in food science and food technology that will provide experiential learning with strong industry linkages.

It is estimated that NIFTEM will produce approximately 1000 students and entrepreneurs, incubate about 250 businesses, undertake 300 research projects, 550 short term courses and 450 projects related to food standards setting and testing and will have about 12000 annual subscriptions for its journals by 2015. In addition, industry will benefit through Continuing Education initiatives, access to patents that are generated within NIFTEM, and market intelligence provided by NIFTEM. The institute will be generating over 100 patents cumulatively over next five years benefiting small and medium scale food industry and food processing clusters in rural India.

In order to cater to the needs of the food industry (large scale, medium, small & micro scale enterprises) NIFTEM is in the process of setting up five Pilot Plants within its campus covering the following sectors.
  • Fruits and vegetable products.
  • Meat and poultry products.
  • Milk and dairy products.
  • Cereal, grain and bakery products.
  • Ready to eat Indian traditional food products.

The Pilot Plants will serve as incubation centres for the existing food industries as well as the new entrepreneurs to incubate their ideas and also to facilitate in providing ‘Hands on Training’ to students, progressive farmers as well as the potential entrepreneurs.  The efforts would be towards developing new technologies and ultimately to commercialise them. 

In this regard a global tender was floated for appointment of a Project Management Agency for designing, furnishing and procurement of equipments on a turn-key basis from concept to commissioning.  In response, two bids were received and the technical presentations were conducted.  Since out of the two bidders, only one bidder was present and gave the presentation, the tender had to be cancelled and re-tendering has been done.