Experts at the Food Innovation Centre are reaching out to food and drink manufacturers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with the offer of some free technical support as they head into Autumn and prepare for Christmas.
The Food Innovation Centre, based at the University of Nottingham, can help food and drink producers with many aspects of scientific development and is reminding businesses to get in touch for support if they need it.
Available to food and drink manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2), the support can take many different forms from help with product development and packaging, measures to adopt a more sustainable approach to production, ways to switch to online sales or making the most of a new consumer trend, such as nutritious food.
Experts at the Food Innovation Centre who are on hand to offer free advice include three food technologists, with experience across soft drinks, the dairy sector and confectionery in large and SME businesses, but with knowledge spanning across the whole industry, plus brewing experts and two research associates focussing on sustainable production and healthy eating to bring the most up-to-date and accurate global knowledge to food and drink SME businesses in the D2N2 area.
The support is available under the Driving Research and Innovation project – a three-year project that runs until the end of December 2022. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the D2N2 LEP, the project is run by the Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham School of Biosciences, in conjunction with the Chemistry Innovation Laboratory in the School of Chemistry and Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and in association with the Midlands Engine. It is a unique collaboration project that provides free specialist innovation support to small and medium-sized businesses.
Richard Worrall, who heads the Food Innovation Centre, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has brought about some big changes in how the food and drink sector operates, both from the consumer and producer perspectives and our role is to offer support to manufacturers working in the industry in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to help them overcome challenges and to grab the new, unique opportunities.
“We have a skilled team that can advise and support on many different aspects of business development or offer signposts to others with expertise in the food and drink manufacturing sector.
“We can access the latest scientific knowledge and thinking around food and nutrition, including food structure and flavour, sensory science, brewing science, alternative proteins, healthy eating and sustainable production and apply it to SME businesses development. We can also tap into the expertise of our colleagues in Digital Manufacturing, Energy Technologies or at the Business School and work with the Food & Drink Forum, Nottingham Trent University and the D2N2 Growth Hub to coordinate these support services.”
The Food Innovation Centre has already supported over 170 food and drink manufacturers in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area, across a number of categories – brewers, bakers, pie makers, drinks manufacturers, ice cream and ice lolly makers, pizza base manufacturers and a whole lot more.
For more information about the Food Innovation Centre and to get in touch with experts who can help, visit https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/biosciences/facilities/food-innovation-centre.aspx
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