The East Midlands’ most forward-thinking food and drink manufacturers and researchers are being urged to get their entries in for the 2012 Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards.

August 17th 2012 is the deadline for the awards, which are free to enter and recognise and reward the brightest ideas in the region’s food and drink sector.

Last year’s award winners and short-listed candidates received valuable promotion for their innovations.

The overall winner, which was named the Campden BRI Innovation Champion 2011, was a team from the University of Leicester Space Research Centre, who applied space technology to allow the detection of counterfeit whisky through the bottle and without having to open it.

“We’ve had some really exciting entries to our Innovation Awards in the past, and we’re looking forward to hearing about the latest innovations in the sector across the East Midlands,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall.

Being held for the fifth year, the awards recognise and reward the use of innovation in the region’s food and drink sector as a way of boosting development, profitability and growth.

There are four award categories this year – Business Growth Award, the Nottingham Trent University New Product Development Award, the Positive Impact Award, and the Collaboration Award.

Winners of all categories will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony and gala dinner in November before one of the winners is crowned Campden BRI Innovation Champion 2012.

Entries are being invited from companies, researchers and individuals across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Forms are available to download from the iNet section of the Food and Drink Forum website and need to be submitted by August 17th 2012.

A range of sponsorship opportunities are also available, including award categories, table hosting and exhibition space, which will provide valuable promotion in front of food and drink professionals from across the East Midlands.

Part-funded by 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.

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 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 about the iNet visit

For further information about the Innovation Awards or sponsorship opportunities call 0115 9758810.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR