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UK’s FoodTech industry showcases its expertise at FII2019

Posted on 28/03/2019

The Food Industry Innovation 2019 event provided UK FoodTech SMEs with a unique opportunity to showcase their innovative technologies.

By Simon Baty, Knowledge Transfer Manager – Agri-Food

Food Industry Innovation (FII2019) – hosted on 21st March by KTN with support from Innovate UK  – focused on FoodTech and high growth SMEs by offering three exciting zones in the panoramic Altitude360 venue, with added views of Parliament, MI6 HQ and Battersea Power Station.

Zone 1 offered delegates the very latest in “Thought Leadership” on future sector challenges, with presentations from major food industry players including Ocado, Mondelez, Waitrose, Samworth Brothers and more. This zone also provided a fantastic opportunity to  6 FoodTech SME’s who, having completed their investor readiness training with KTN’s Access to Funding and Finance team, were selected to pitch to investors including Octopus Ventures, SEP, Rabobank and Seedrs.

Video highlights of the FoodTech Showcase at FoodIndustry Innovation 2019

Zone 2 was focused on business support, with the wider UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) family available to discuss the world class facilities at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Innovate UK competitions, Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) help to find EU and wider markets, the KTN Innovation Canvas (designed to help you build the best innovative project) and more.

Zone 3 featured table top displays from high growth potential FoodTech SMEs, ranging from uniquely formulated vegan marshmallows, to crisps made from waste salmon skins, from smart labels that allow longer shelf life to disruptive “flat” plastic wine bottles that reduce waste and package size, amongst other displays.

Fresh Check UK - winner of “pitch of the day” at Food Industry Innovation 2019

Delegates at the event were clearly very interested in learning about the latest innovations in FoodTech, with both the table top displays in zone 3 and the SME pitches to investors in zone 1 proving very popular. They were able to hear about the business opportunities offered by: novel plastic wine bottles, functional broccoli soup, pharmaceutical grade calcium carbonate from waste egg shells, a smart labelling solution that is inclusive for the visually impaired, and a unique microwave heating system that pasteurises fruit juice at a lower temperature producing a better taste. The winner of “pitch of the day” as judged by our panel, was John Simpson from FreshCheck UK with their colour change spray that detects if a surface is free form bacteria or not.

Word cloud showing delegate responses to the question: What is the next big innovation in food and drink?

This was the second edition of the Food Industry Innovation event, following on from a similarly successful event in 2018. The challenge for us now is whether to keep to the same formula for 2020 or innovate again!

If you would like to be kept informed for next year’s event, please sign up for agri-food news from KTN here.

If you are seeking support or collaborative partners for a FoodTech innovation, you are welcome to contact a member of the KTN Agri-Food Team.