Food businesses, startups and entrepreneurs have been given a boost thanks to a new Food Innovation Network.
FIN will provide the industry with access to first-class facilities, such as test kitchens and laboratories to help them launch new products.
Whether it’s prolonging shelf life, developing new sources of protein or upping the vitamin D content of eggs, the network will help “push the boundaries of British food production”, said environment secretary Andrea Leadsom.
Through an online portal, more than 6,000 businesses will be able to tap into expert advice on complex issues such as intellectual property and developing new technology. A network coordinator will also be appointed to act as a “matchmaker”, joining up businesses with the expertise they need for any aspect of their business – from new packaging to waste management.
“We’re particularly excited to see the launch of a pilot programme to target academic and industrial partnering in research, which addresses key challenges in food, nutrition and health,” said Professor Melanie Welham, chief executive at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
FIN has been launched as part of the government’s Great British Food campaign. Last week, the government announced a new “International Action Plan for Food and Drink”. Nine markets across 18 countries have been identified as ripe for export growth.