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Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event
EXTENDED Request a Pitch Deadline: 13 September (Pitching Event 14 October)
Monday 14 October 2013
Calling all innovators and technology spin-outs, start-ups and SMEs. Pitch your idea or business to some of the world's largest food and FMCG companies.

Major food and FMCG companies such as Mars, Unilever, General Mills, Tate & Lyle, Bacardi and Crown Packaging are seeking small commercial or university-based organisations which could provide innovative solutions to business challenges. Click here for a prioritised list of the 40 innovation areas identified by OI Forum members.


Up to 15 researchers, innovators and technology developers from the UK and beyond will have the chance to pitch their ideas to the Open Innovation (OI) Forum at the Food & FMCG Innovation Pitching Event.

  • Request a pitch deadline 13 September 2013
  • Pitching event will be held on Monday 14 October at Colworth Science Park

The event is free to enter and all participating pitches will be circulated to OI Forum members, whether they are shortlisted or not. Winners will receive a certificate and trophy, as well as the opportunity to present their ideas and products in front of a panel of key decision-makers and ‘innovation scouts’ from important food and FMCG firms.


Applicants who are unsuccessful will get a complimentary place to the morning event 'Insights & Innovation in FMCG'.


You could be pitching to key decision-makers from these companies:

Global brand owners

Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, BAT, Mars, Bacardi, Moy Park, General Mills and Britvic


Packaging suppliers

Crown, MeadWestvaco


Ingredients and materials suppliers

DSM, Cargill, Imerys and Tate & Lyle


Process equipment suppliers

Baker Perkins and Domino


Design agency

Webb deVlam


The panel members are all senior leaders and decision-makers in their companies, whose main job role is to scout for and acquire innovation and technology from outside their organisations either through licensing, acquisition, research funding or other mechanisms.


Who are searching for innovation partners in the following areas:

Life sciences

Including ingredients, health, food safety, preservatives and synthetic biology



Including packaging materials, waste reduction and sustainability


Including customisation, batch-of-one and novel food processing

IT / electronics

Including smart packaging, communications, tagging & ID and E-science

Marketing and business models

Including social media, digital marketing and new business models


The format
The shortlisted companies will pitch to a panel of OI Forum members. Each company will be given five minutes to pitch, followed by five minutes Q & A. The shortlisted companies will be invited to attend the whole OI Forum day (otherwise restricted to OI Forum members) which will provide valuable insights into how large companies approach innovation as well as opportunities to network. This will include a free morning’s seminar looking at what Open Innovation means from the perspective of large and small companies, investors and legal advisers.

Shortlisted companies will also receive a certificate as a Shortlisted Innovator.


The winners
After the pitches, the panel will choose winners and highly commended organisations and each will receive a certificate and trophy.

All entrants
All entries will be circulated to OI Forum members, whether they are shortlisted or not.



How to enter

Complete the online entry form to describe your company background, innovative solution, which of the identified needs you are addressing and your technology readiness.

Applications for the competition are free and must be submitted by 13 September 2013. Shortlisted companies will be notified by  20 September 2013.


About the OI Forum

The University of Cambridge Open Innovation Forum was set up in 2010 by IfM Education and Consultancy Services, (IfM ECS), the dissemination arm of the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, to provide support and opportunities for companies involved in the Food and FMCG value chain. Find out more here.


Download the Pitching Event Flyer here.

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