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Agri-Food Systems Research Facilities

Queen's University Belfast

Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) Laboratory Capabilities

Advanced Mass Spectrometry (ASSET Lab)

Biosensor Technologies

Elemental Analysis

Spectroscopic Fingerprinting

Category 2 and 3 labs (e.g. aerobic and anaerobic microbiology, parasitology)

Core Technology Units

Advanced Informatics

Genomics (e.g. sequencers most illumine platforms and more recently a PacBio)

Advanced imaging

Biological Services Unit


Global Innovation Institute (GII)

Clinical Research

Wellcome Trust-Wolfson Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility (NICRF)

Centre for Public Health - routine clinical chemistry, human studies etc. 



Livestock Production Research Platform - AFBI Hillsborough

300ha farm with a livestock holding of:

  • 280 dairy cows + young stock
  • 300 ewes & finishing lambs
  • 140 sows
  • 110 suckler cows + 400 finishing beef


  • Rumination halters for 80 animals
  • Lying time sensors for 300 animals
  • Indoor position/behaviour monitoring system
  • Individual electronic intake systems – birth to adulthood across all the species (1000 animals)
  • Camera systems for all species to monitor behaviour
  • In-field concentrate feed and water intake recording stations
  • Thermal, heart rate, DEXA, Skin temperature technologies.
  • Two large scale and 6 small scale state of the art metabolic chambers

Precision Grassland Research Platform

  • 78ha of “connected landscape” (Sensors and technology connecting: Soil, Plant, Animal and Climate)

Veterinary Sciences Division - Stormont 

  • ACDP/SAPO CL2 and CL3 laboratory facilities inc ELISA, PCR, flow cytometry, sequencing
  • ACDP CL2 postmortem facilities including MSc inside room
  • Designated facilities/animal research facilities
  • New main building housing most laboratories of Disease Surveillance & Investigation, Chemical & Immunodiagnostic Sciences and Virology

Biocontainment Facilities 

Containment Level 1, 2 and 3 laboratories for the safe containment and analysis of microorganisms of animal health and public health significance.

Food Quality & Safety

Accredited analytical chemistry laboratories - Analytical chemistry units are UKAS accredited laboratories (no. 2632) covering a wide range of screening and confirmatory analysis.

Accredited microbiology laboratories - Food Microbiology Unit is accredited under ISO/IEC 17025:2017 to perform a wide range of tests.

Biocontainment facilities - Containment Level 1, 2 and 3 laboratories for the safe containment and analysis of microorganisms of animal health and public health significance.

High pressure processing - A 35l capacity commercial high pressure food processing facility.

Instrumental analysis of food quality

Meat and dairy analyses

Molecular technologies 

Novel processing techniques 

Sensory analysis and research -  certified under ISO9001.

Specialist chemical analyses - mass spectrometry based methods to analyse the chemical composition of low and high molecular weight compounds in complex sample matrices.