Firms, individuals and researchers linked to the East Midlands food and drink sector have just a few days left to enter this year’s Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards and be in with a chance of winning a prestigious title and valuable business support.
Designed to recognise and reward the most exciting developments in the food and drink industry in the region, the 2010 Food and Drink innovation Network (iNet) Innovation Awards have five categories, plus the chance for winners to go on to become crowned the East Midlands Food and Drink Innovation Champion 2010. Additional prizes in the form of business support are also available.
The awards, which are being held for the third year, will turn the spotlight on outstanding inventions or products, exceptional creativity, and innovative working practices in the industry in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. Winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony and gala dinner sponsored by Derby College, which will take place at The Roundhouse, Pride Park, Derby, on November 25th.
There are categories for a wide range of businesses and individuals – including manufacturers, researchers, and firms in the wider food sector such as restaurants, caterers, delis and primary producers, plus those working on innovation projects for the benefit of the sector – and the closing date for entries is October 15th 2010.
Entries are being invited for the following awards:
• University of Lincoln National Centre for Food Manufacturing Award for Most Innovative Small to Medium Size Food and Drink Manufacturer, which will recognise small to medium food and drink manufacturers within the East Midlands that have championed innovation projects to improve their business. The University of Lincoln has kindly donated an additional prize of two hours’ consultancy from an academic specialist to the winner of this category.
• Campden BRI Award for Most Innovative Business Across the Food and Drink Supply Chain, which will recognise businesses working in the food and drink supply chain in the East Midlands that have undertaken an innovation project that has benefited the food and drink manufacturing sector. Campden BRI has kindly donated additional prizes of two places on a Campden conference or seminar for the winner of the Most Innovative Business across the Food and Drink Supply Chain. Prizes must be taken before October 2011.
• CenFRA Award for Most Innovative Research Project, which will reward the most successful research projects undertaken by universities within the East Midlands that have made a significant beneficial impact on the food and drink sector.
• Food Processing Faraday Award for Most Innovative Large Food and Drink Manufacturer, which will go to a large food and drink manufacturer in the East Midlands that has championed innovation projects to improve their business. Food Processing Faraday has kindly donated an additional prize of a consultancy visit from one of their Innovation Consultants plus one free delegate place to Excellence in Food Manufacturing 2011 to the winner of this category.
• Nottingham Trent University Award for Most Innovative Business in the Wider Food Sector, which will recognise innovation in a food or drink firm that is not a manufacturer. This could include primary producers, restaurants, caterers, delis and local food retailers.
• The winner of the Food and Drink Forum Innovation Champion Award 2010 will be picked from the winners of the five categories. The Food and Drink Forum has kindly donated an additional prize of one day’s consultancy from one of their specialists for the Innovation Champion 2010. Prize must be taken before May 2011.
• Campden BRI has also kindly donated one place on a Campden conference or seminar for the winner of each of the other categories. Prizes must be taken before October 2011.
Food and Drink iNet director Andrew Butterwick said: “We are very much looking forward to receiving this year’s entries which, judging by previous years’ entries, should reflect the exciting innovation that we have in the East Midlands food and drink sector and associated industries.”
Application forms are available to download from the Food and Drink iNet website www.eminnovation.org.uk/food.
Mike Carr, East Midlands Development Agency’s (emda’s) Executive Director of Business Services, said: “I hope that many of the food and drink companies from across the East Midlands enter these awards. It is not only an opportunity for them to be recognised for their achievements, but it is also a chance for them to showcase their innovations in a way that may help them gain an all important competitive edge in their markets.”
Funded by 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 and 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.
For more information visit www.eminnovation.org.uk/food