New service to help 'Make Innovation Happen'

seafood platter sitting on table overlooking loch
Norette Ferns

A new service has launched today to connect food and drink businesses with innovation support.

The Make Innovation Happen service will provide food and drink businesses in Scotland looking for information and support with a single, streamlined access route to help them innovate. Feedback from businesses suggested that while they valued support available, they felt improvements could be made to make it simpler to find the right support.

The Make Innovation Happen service is being delivered through a coalition of key public sector and industry bodies who are working together to drive innovation. Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have contributed £1.1 million of funding.

In March, the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership launched 'Ambition 2030', the industry’s new strategy, which outlines the goal to double turnover in the sector to £30 billion by 2030.

Make Innovation Happen is being launched by the Scotland Food and Drink Innovation Working Group as the first step towards Ambition 2030 which prioritises innovation as critical to continued success in the sector.

Co-chairs of the Scotland Food & Drink Innovation Working Group David Thomson, Food and Drink Federation Scotland CEO and Dr Alan Rowe of The Rowett Institute, said:

"The food and drink sector is one of the star performers in Scotland and innovation is critical to its continued success. The Food and Drink Partnership has shown exceptional collaboration to create a single gateway to make it easy for businesses to access the various types of support available all under one roof. There are already three experienced Connectors on the ground who are dedicated to driving innovation in our food and drink businesses and we look forward to announcing further initiatives in the months ahead.  I would encourage businesses to look at the website and get in touch."

Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said:

"We want to see the value of Scotland’s food and drink sector double to £30 billion by 2030. Innovation will play a key role in the delivery of this ambition.  

"Scotland’s reputation as an innovative and globally trading nation is recognised but we need to keep moving forward.  We want more food and drink businesses across Scotland to sell more goods and services to more markets. We want existing investors to develop, grow and expand in Scotland and that we remain a location of choice for inward investors.

"Make Innovation Happen’ offers an excellent opportunity to support businesses on their innovation journey.  I would urge any food and drink businesses thinking of innovation to make use of this new service."

The Make Innovation Happen service will support innovation within food and drink businesses by:

  • Supporting businesses on their individual innovation journey through Innovation Connectors who can help businesses tap into the resources available in Scotland from public sector and academia
  • Providing access to technical knowledge and expertise, specialist facilities, market insights and advice on innovation funding
  • Ensuring businesses receive support which is aligned, not just across Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Interface, but to the broader delivery partners that are supporting innovation

Visit the Make Innovation Happen website to find out more.