Food Innovation Network - Helping Agri-Food Businesses to Innovate
Food Innovation Network - Helping Agri-Food Businesses to Innovate

Food Innovation Network - Helping Agri-Food Businesses to Innovate

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National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC)

York, United Kingdom

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On 23 July 2015 the Prime Minister announced the creation of a new UK-wide Food Innovation Network (FIN). The FIN will be an important part of the Government’s 25 year Food and Farming Plan. 

A UK-wide industry-led FIN will tackle the barriers identified by the FRP. It will simplify, facilitate and enhance the uptake of R&D and technology. The FIN will not replace activity already being undertaken by other bodies on Agri-Food R&D and innovation. It will provide a single point of focus for food innovation.

The FIN’s objectives are to:

  • Increase collaboration and partnership by providing a service which joins up existing innovation support services, including peer to peer contacts. 

  • Provide support for innovation as an ‘enabler’, particularly for SMEs, working with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and other innovation-enabling organisations. It will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for Agri-Food businesses on how to innovate in order to grow and increase productivity.

  • Join up R&D and innovation across the whole food chain by working closely with Centres of Excellence (e.g. Centres for Agricultural Innovation, public sector research establishments, higher education institutes and wider institutes).  This includes, in particular, peer to peer contacts which are important ways in which SMEs get information on innovation.  The FIN will facilitate discussions across a wide range of the Agri-Food industry and other stakeholders around what R&D and innovation is needed, when and who needs to be involved.

  • Help remove barriers to innovation identified by the FRP and other reviews[1].

  • Act as a focal point for transfer of knowledge and expertise on issues central to economic growth and resilience of the sector such as those affecting health and wellness; and to externalities, such as the effects of climate change and resource scarcity. 

[1] For example the NCUB report Leading Food 4.0: Growing Business-University Collaboration for the UK's Food Economy


Objectives of the day:

-       Providing information and support to innovators in Food, Agriculture and across the Food System

-       Raising awareness of the support that the Food Innovation Network can provide

-       Creating opportunities for collaboration and networking to stimulate innovation


10.00: Registration, tea and coffee

10:30: Welcome and opening remarks  Ian Noble, Mondelez and Chairman of the Food Innovation Network Steering Group  

Session 1 – ‘Innovation and the future for Agri-Food’ Aim: To UK’s strengths/resources in innovation and their importance in maintaining global competitiveness

10:35 Opening speech Andrea Leadsom Defra Secretary of State

10.45 Introducing the Food Innovation Network and how it is uniquely placed to help drive innovation Simon Baty – FIN Coordinator 

Session 2 - Why innovate and how?  Aim: To describe what success looks like

11:00 From farmer to distiller via brewer and destination venue Tom Mellor – Wold Top Brewery

11:10 Collaborating with academics, networks and SMEs to create new products and additional value Tim Finnegan – Marlow Foods

11:20 Elevator pitches  (local providers)                           

12.00  Demos/networking on stands with lunch

Session 3 – Agri-Food Innovation Toolkit   Aim: To introduce organisations and resources available to help small and medium size businesses innovate

13:00 Funding available for business led R&D Calum Murray – Innovate UK  

13:10 Making it easier to collaborate – launching the new Lambert “toolkit” Liam Hynes - Intellectual Property Office

13:20 Elevator pitches (national providers) 

14:00 Demos/networking on stands with refreshments

Session 4: Q&A panel chaired by Ian Noble  

14:45 Chance to shape how the FIN will make a difference to UK agrifood productivity Panel 

15:30 Closing speech/what happens next Simon Baty -  FIN Coordinator

Stands remain open until 4pm

If you are interested in exhibiting or presenting at the event or for any other information please contact Simon Baty FIN coordinator,; 07931 511641

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National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC)

York, United Kingdom

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