Leading the way with packaging

17/11/2008 - 00:00
A new initiative which aims to help food and drink groups develop innovative products and packaging has launched to ensure companies remain competitive, especially in today's challenging economic climate.

Appetizing Innovation, which is supported by Yorkshire Forward, brings together leading product and packaging experts to support companies in their efforts to meet the demands of consumers and retailers. Companies interacting with Appetizing Innovation will have easy access to a range of sources with the most up to date skills, technologies and equipment. Seminars, workshops and special reports, as well as access to innovation surgeries and a new packaging materials resource centre will be on offer through the initiative. The four partners working alongside Food Processing Faraday Partnership (FPFP), which is leading the project, are Sheffield Hallam University's Food Innovation, Leeds Metropolitan University, the Regional Food Group and Design Futures, a packaging innovation consultancy. Leading the project is Ian Blakemore, regional manager of FPFP, who commented: "Some companies are too small to be able to employ innovation specialists in-house, and this will help them with focused projects. We also know that many larger companies look for specialist R&D staff to supplement their innovation teams. The consortium members are all experienced in working successfully with business to make a significant commercial impact. "At the same time, we have a lot of exciting work happening in our region's universities, but this expertise is not always easily accessible, and finding it can be time consuming for businesses. Appetizing Innovation will bring together those businesses which want to create innovative food products or packaging, as well as those who are already undertaking research projects but want to take them a stage further, and put them in touch with the right solution providers quickly and efficiently." Appetizing Innovation will work proactively to approach businesses, using a team of "technology translators" who have a wide range of experience in the food and drink industry, to ensure everyone can access the appropriate help they need and are properly supported throughout the project. John Sorsby, former food and drink manager for Yorkshire Forward, which is funding the initiative, said: "We believe there is great potential for food and drink businesses in the region to take advantage of the world class skills, research, knowledge and equipment on their doorstep. This initiative will help them compete successfully in the short term as well as further into the future. Innovation offers business cost saving opportunities as well as new high value opportunities – a recipe for success!"

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