Major food and FMCG companies such as Unilever, General Mills, Tate & Lyle 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.
Pitching event will be held on Monday 11 March at the Hauser Forum in Cambridge.
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.
You could be pitching to key decision-makers from these companies:
Global brand owners
Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Heinz, BAT, Mars, Bacardi, Moy Park and General Mills
Ingredients and materials suppliers
DSM, Cargill, Imerys and Tate & Lyle
Process equipment suppliers
Siemens and Domino
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:
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 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 and two minutes feedback from the panel. 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.
After the pitches, the panel will choose winners in categories for university and commercial (spin-out, start-up and SME) organisations and each will receive a certificate and trophy.
All shortlisted and winning companies will be publicised as part of the PR promoting the event and will be included in a ‘catalogue of pitchers’ on this website.
All entries will be circulated to OI Forum members, whether they are shortlisted or not.
How to enter
Applications for the competition are free and must be submitted by 13 February 2013. Shortlisted companies will be notified by 15 February 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.