SME food and drink producers in the East Midlands are being offered the chance to apply for grants of £10,000 to aid innovation in the industry.
The Food and Drink Innovation Network (iNet), funded by the East Midlands Development Agency, is administering the grants. To qualify, firms must have a maximum of 250 employees and must dedicate a further 50% of their own funds or the equivalent in man-hours to a new design project.
Firms can use the cash to upgrade equipment needed for a new idea, seek external guidance or to fund research. Overall there is a quarter of a million pounds worth of bursaries – known as Innovation Support Grants – available.
“We’re hoping to work with almost 100 food and drink companies in the region,” said acting director of the Food and Drink iNet Richard Adlington. “Indeed we have already started to award grants to firms that are coming forward with inspiring ideas.
“The food and drink industry is an important sector of the East Midlands economy, accounting for about 5% of the economy, and we are keen to encourage it to continue to develop and thrive. We would urge any small or medium-sized food or drink business that’s keen to innovate and has an idea of how they’d like to do that to get in touch with us to see if they’re eligible for support.”
The Food and Drink iNet is officiated over by a consortium comprising the Food Processing Faraday Partnership, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham amongst others.
For more information on this initiative visit foodanddrink-inet.org.uk or call 0845 521 2066.