The Food Innovation Network is launching a one-off competition to connect food business and academia to develop innovative ideas to help stimulate productivity and support business growth. 

Who can apply?

The competition is aimed at micro, small and medium sized food companies. It is also aimed at larger companies who collaborate with micro businesses or SMEs and/or academic partners to help these businesses improve their systems and processes to make them more cost effective and deliver better products and services. Proposals should be business-led and clearly present the benefits to business.

What could you win?

A grant of up to £5,000 will be awarded to at least 10 successful applicants who can either match the grant themselves (or with an existing collaborator), or develop a new collaboration by affiliating with a partner identified by the FIN and who has agreed to match the grant in kind or in cash.

The grants are provided to support the rapid development of an innovative idea/business opportunity that is capable of demonstrating its practical feasibility in the food and drink sector. Primary production is in scope where it impacts on post farm gate activity e.g. in food processing, manufacturing, retail sectors. This competition is open to business collaborations to stimulate their development of new ideas that could provide solutions to industry-identified challenges in the food sector.

There is a open-fast stream competition and FIN are seeking proposals for up to six months projects based on one of the following match funding mechanisms:

  • Company X providing £5,000 in-kind support
  • Company Y providing £5,000 cash
  • Company A wishes to use a service provided by Company Z (as put followed by the FIN) to the value of £5,000

How to apply

The competition opened 27 November 2017 and a video and applications form must be submitted by 12 January 2018

The competition is being run as a single stage competition with the following requirements:

  • The business must join the FIN
  • A video pitch (maximum of 2 minutes in duration) which explains and outlines the applicant’s proposals
  • An accompanying one page proforma written submission supporting the applicant’s video application that expands on the key issues being addressed
  • Applicants with successful short-listed proposals will be asked to present their idea for 10 minutes to a small group of industry experts and government representatives

Project outputs – What you will need to do if successful

  • Upon award of the project funding you will be expected to demonstrate progress towards implementation of your new business idea. Where applicable, the output may also be in the form of a demonstrator e.g. a practical demonstration (including use of video) of what has been achieved through the project
  • Each project will require the delivery of a project evaluation (by way of a short report or video clip). This will describe, for example, the challenges identified, the work undertaken, the progress made, whether the project was successful, what changes resulted to your company’s business plan, how/if the funding enabled the business to enter new markets or develop new ones, lessons learned and next steps

For more information about this competition please follow the link provided on the right hand side. Alternatively to contact the FIN directly please use the contact details also provided on the right hand side.