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Scottish food companies invited to apply for £650k grant
Published:  27 June, 2017

Food companies in Scotland working together to produce innovative ways to sell products have been invited to apply for a support grant. 

The Collaborative Innovation Fund, supported by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has been launched by Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing.

“Scotland’s reputation as an innovative and globally trading nation is recognised but we need to do more,” said Ewing, speaking at the Royal Highland Show, which took place 22-25 June.

“We want more of our food and drink businesses to sell more goods and services to more markets. We want existing investors to develop, grow and expand in Scotland and to ensure that we remain a location of choice for inward investors. Innovation will be key to delivering the industry’s strategic ambitions to double the turnover of the industry by 2030. This fund will help bring business and academia together to help deliver greater growth.”

All food and drink businesses across the supply chain are welcome to apply for the loan, worth £650,000.

Information will be provided to help support business growth including: access to technical knowledge, specialist facilities, and advice on funding; support offered to help businesses tap into resources available in Scotland from the public sector and academic world; ensure businesses receive support aligned with delivery partners encouraging innovation.

“Our unique approach to collaboration has been critical to the 10 years of growth enjoyed by Scotland’s food and drink industry,” added James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink chief executive. “This new Collaborative Innovation Fund reflects the importance of collaboration in unlocking innovation, which we know will be critical to our future growth.

“The pace of change in terms of food and drink production, supply chains and consumer behaviour is remarkable. We will need to embrace a culture of cutting-edge innovation and collaboration to meet the ambitions of our new industry strategy. This fund is an important new step to help drive that culture.”

Elaine Jamieson, head of food and drink at HIE, said it was important to offer these kinds of bursaries to cater to customer demand.

“Innovation in food and drink is vital to empower Scotland’s businesses to respond to today’s consumer market,” she commented. “We are delighted to support and lead this new fund which exclusively focuses on innovative outcomes of scale and addresses key food and drink opportunities or challenges to help achieve growth for the sector.”