Tickets have now gone on sale for the Food and Drink iNet (Innovation Network) Innovation Awards ceremony.

Guest speaker for the event, held at Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, Nottingham, on November 17th will be food critic Jay Rayner.

The winners of the Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards 2011 will be announced at the ceremony, which has now become a regular date on the calendar of the food and drink sector in the East Midlands – attracting guests from across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

“The Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards ceremony is an excellent chance to keep up to date with the latest innovations in the sector and to network with others in the industry,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall.

The Innovation Awards, which are being held for the fourth year, aim to reward some of the most exciting innovations in the East Midlands food and drink industry.

Previous winners have included the development of a new material for food and drink packaging that featured non-leaching and antimicrobial properties, the invention of modified salt crystals to create a more intense flavour from less salt and thus allow a reduction in salt used in manufacturing, and the development of a sweet-tasting broccoli.

They have gained a string of benefits after scooping an accolade in the annual awards including media exposure, raised profiles in the industry and the chance to network with those who work in the sector.

The Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards have three categories open to firms, organisations and individuals working across the food and drink sector. They are – Most Innovative Food and Drink Business, Most Innovative Business Supplying into the Food and Drink Sector and Most Innovative Research Project.

The Campden BRI Innovation Champion 2011 will be chosen from the winner of the three categories.

Entries need to be submitted by September 30th. Forms are available to download from the iNet section of the Food and Drink Forum website

Tickets to the awards ceremony cost £65 plus vat each or £650 plus vat for a table of ten, and are available by calling 0115 9758810.

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 iNets, it has developed an effective network to encourage the collaboration of academic expertise and knowledge, and local food and drink business innovation needs.

It 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.

The Food and Drink iNet 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.

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