Mara Seaweed won £25k in the 2013 Competition

Following the success of its inaugural funding competition last year, Interface Food & Drink – the organisation which promotes partnerships between businesses and academics in order to drive innovation across the sector – is calling on those working in Scotland’s food and drink sector to enter its 2014 Innovation Competition.

With winners having the chance of getting up to £40,000 funding for their project1, Interface Food & Drink is encouraging entrants to showcase innovative solutions to key areas of concern to the food & drink industry such as energy and resource efficiency, waste reduction and improved manufacturing techniques – all of which can lead to significant cost reduction, shelf life extension and increased export potential.

“The competition aims to stimulate innovation and the adoption of new technologies across the Scottish food & drink sector’” said Helen Pratt, national co-ordinator at Interface Food & Drink.

“Last year we had a number of superb entries from both internationally known organisations, as well as smaller, local companies.  We know that there are businesses which are currently pushing the boundaries with food & drink innovation – and it’s those types of projects that we want to hear about.”

The 2013 winners of the competition, who each received a £25,000 grant to support collaborative projects with Scotland’s leading food & drink academics were Edinburgh-based Mara Seaweed, North Lanarkshire’s collagen food casing manufacturer Devro, and Hamilton’s Lightbody Group.

“Scotland’s Food & Drink industry generates more than £10bn each year for the Scottish economy, so it’s of the utmost importance that organisations are supported in developing new technologies and innovations that will ultimately help further the sector and stimulate both business and economic growth,” continued Helen Pratt.

“This competition does just that – linking businesses to world-leading academics in order to develop solutions to issues that affect the entire industry,” she said.

The Interface Food & Drink Innovation Competition is open to Scottish universities or Scottish businesses or food & drink trade organisations, but must involve both industry and academic partners. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 12th March 2014.

Both Interface Food & Drink and the Innovation Competition are funded by the Scottish Funding Council.