Food and Drink Innovation Network (iNet)
Innovation Networks (iNets) improve companies’ profitability by supporting them to innovate.
The East Midlands Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates specialist support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the region’s food and drink sector. We can show you how to find new and better ways of doing things such as researching, developing and implementing new products, services and processes that could transform your business. We also run events that provide new knowledge and skills and connect you with a valuable network of contacts and specialists to help you to become more innovative and competitive.
What does the Food and Drink iNet offer?
- Highly experienced advisers that provide a free, impartial and confidential innovation service. Advisers can talk to you about your ideas, provide expert advice and help find contacts to solve problems. Our service begins with an initial meeting to discuss business needs and work out a plan of action to support your food business.
- Funding and subsidised support for innovation projects - Click on the below title 40% Grants available.. for further information.
- Events that keep attendees up to date on the latest developments and opportunities and allow attendees to network across the sector and with iNet advisers.
- Training seminars and events (including bespoke events)
- Access to research institutions and academia, food specialists and technologists, marketing specialists, process consultants and engineers
What could it do for my company?
- Fill a skills gap through subsidised innovation support and identify external funding opportunities.
- Put you in contact with others that you can work with to explore innovative ideas and solve problems.
- Get you involved in networking events within the sector.
- Help you benefit from innovation coming out of the universities through iNet funded research.
How do I find out more?
For further information on how the Food and Drink iNet can help you and for details of upcoming events please contact the team on 0845 521 2066 or visit the website
The Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium led by The Food and Drink Forum and including: the Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln and the University of Nottingham.
40% Grants available to innovative East Midlands food and drink manufacturers
Food and drink businesses in the East Midlands with bright ideas for innovation are being urged to come forward to apply for a share of a £100,000 pot of funding available via The Food and Drink iNet. Grants of 40% towards innovation projects to eligible small and medium-sized companies.
The iNet, which covers Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, has been helping companies in the food and drink sector to introduce new products and new ways of working since 2008.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the iNet is now looking for suitable projects to support and is appealing for manufacturing companies to come forward with their ideas.
“Innovation can take many different forms,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall. “It may be new product development, introducing a new business strategy or adapting working processes to boost growth.
“We have supported around 600 companies with advice since we launched, and have given more than 80 grants to small or medium-sized businesses to help with innovation and growth projects. The East Midlands food and drink sector has a strong pedigree of innovation and the iNet is keen to support it going forward.”
Among those who have received grants in the past are Dragons’ Den participant Rico Mexican Kitchen, which was founded in Derbyshire and is now based in Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire firm Eminate Ltd, which developed a unique way of modifying salt to create a more intense flavour from smaller quantities.
Other companies that have been given grants include Leicester-based Shelton Imports, which was able to move into new markets as a result of the support, Northamptonshire-based The Pickled Village, which received orders from top London stores after iNet help, and Lincolnshire firm Libaeration, which developed the world’s first alcoholic foam.
Grants are available to companies working in food and drink or the supply chain, but excluding primary producers, retailers and restaurants, unless they are looking to start manufacturing.
“Not only is this good news for food and drink manufacturers but it may also be of interest to consultants working in the sector who are helping clients to implement new ways of working or new products,” said Richard Worrall.
The Food and Drink iNet, which is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with a team of advisors across the East Midlands, 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.
For enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org