Yorkshire food and drink businesses urged to “simply innovate”’ at free event

Businesses in the food and drink sector across Yorkshire are being invited to a free event offering practical advice, funding options and assistance on how to grow and develop.

‘Simply Innovate’ is being hosted by the University of Leeds and The Food Industry Network with key speakers from global companies, such as Nestle, and Government organisations including Innovate UK.

The event, on Thursday 6 October, at the University of Leeds, will provide help and guidance to SMEs of all sizes in the food and drink sector on implementing and developing an innovation project to assist with growth.

It’s the first in a series of events planned to boost innovation ideas across Yorkshire’s food and drink industry to encourage further development and create job opportunities.

Experts from The Food Theme at the University of Leeds, Nestle, energy-efficient food processing company Albion Crystallisation, Innovate UK and The Food Industry Network will come together to offer advice on issues such as funding options, how local universities can assist with development, current and future opportunities and multi-national development.

Simply Innovate is being organised by Leeds-based The Food Industry Network which promotes innovation and development in the food and drink sector driven by changing consumer demands.

The organisation works with both established businesses across Yorkshire and Humberside looking to grow and enter new markets and also start-ups seeking rapid growth and investment.

Ian Blakemore, operations director at The Food Industry Network, said: “The food and drink sector is a thriving industry across Yorkshire and Humberside but there are also very many emerging opportunities that are being driven by changing consumer demands which businesses may be unaware of.

“We’re bringing together a host of industry experts with a depth of knowledge to share who will provide practical and impartial advice, supported by representatives from the Government-backed Innovate UK who can offer help regarding funding options.”

Dr Martin Pick, chair of The Food Industry Network, said: “We firmly believe that there are so many opportunities for development across our region and that innovation is critical to the food and drink sector’s success both in the UK and to drive export.

“The free event is an opportunity for businesses ranging from sole traders to larger organisations to find out how they can get help and funding and also find out where the new opportunities may lie for them.”

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