Government funding opportunity for food businesses

Defra has launched a new scheme offering small food and drink companies the chance to win a share of £50,000-worth of funding. 

The voucher scheme, launched by Defra through its Food Innovation Network (FIN), is aimed at “pushing the boundaries in food business innovation to kick-start the next generation of food production”. 

Micro-, small- and medium-sized food and drink businesses will be able to compete for one of 10 £5,000 FIN vouchers - with matched funding from industry - by pitching their innovative projects to a ‘Dragons' Den’ panel of industry and technical experts. 

The winners will be those who demonstrate ideas that are “novel, achievable and support business growth”. 

Food Minister George Eustice said: “Our thriving food and drink industry needs to be innovative in order to be resilient and globally competitive.

“Some of our most innovative food businesses are smaller companies and each has unique challenges, from prolonging the shelf life of their products to developing new sources of protein.

“This new fund is aimed at helping support small businesses with a bright idea to develop their concepts in partnership with researchers or academic institutions.”

Applicants will need to submit an initial two-minute video pitch and a short description setting out their innovative business opportunity.

All ideas will need to demonstrate the need for research and development, innovation in the proposed solution, path to commercial application, nature of market opportunity and value for money.

The deadline for applications is 12 January 2018. For details on the application process, click here

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