Chris Arnold

Food and drink firms in the East Midlands are being encouraged to re-ignite the creativity of children as a way of developing their businesses.

The Food and Drink Innovation Network (iNet) is staging an iThrive event designed to turn the spotlight on ways of exploiting creative potential within companies and their workforces.

Guest speaker is former creative director of one of the UK’s top advertising agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, Chris Arnold, who is an expert in creativity and its application to business. He will be encouraging delegates to re-ignite the imagination and ingenuity they experienced as children.

The iThrive event also marks the launch of a new programme of intensive business support being offered by the Food and Drink iNet to the region’s food and drink businesses.

A number of food and drink firms who attend the event will be chosen to receive the support, which features four one-day workshops guiding businesses through the new product development process – from the generation of an idea to product launch.

The iThrive new product development event and the programme of NPD support that it launches have been formulated by the Food and Drink iNet to ensure that innovation, in the form of new product development, thrives within the East Midlands food and drink sector.

“The iThrive event is an excellent opportunity for food and drink firms from across the region to focus on the importance of sparking and harnessing creativity,” said Food and Drink iNet director Andrew Butterwick. “We are delighted that Chris Arnold, who is an acknowledged expert in this subject, will be our guest speaker.

“The event also marks the start of our exclusive new programme to offer new product development support to up to ten food and drink businesses in the East Midlands. This is the perfect opportunity for companies in the sector who are interested in NPD to find out more.”

The New Product Development – Converting Creativity into Cash event is free to attend and takes place at the Pride Park Stadium, Derby, on October 12th from 8.30am to 12.30pm.

Food and drink firms from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland are eligible to attend this free event but booking is essential to guarantee a place. Email or call 0115 9758810 for more information.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands. One of four regional iNets, it has developed an effective network to link academic and private sector expertise and knowledge with local food and drink business innovation needs.

The Food and Drink iNet also aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the region by helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes. It is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region.

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