Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event 2018

An opportunity for innovators and technology spin-outs, start-ups and SMEs to pitch their ideas or business to some of the world's largest food, drink and FMCG companies.

21 November 2018



This year’s event will take place at Queen’s University, Belfast.



The Open Innovation Forum brings together major global players in the Food, Drink and FMCG sectors from across the whole value chain: from ingredients and materials (Cargill and Treatt); through Packaging (Crown and RPC) and Process / Technology ( Domino, Cambridge Consultants, Campden BRI and Siemens); to Brand Owners (Mars, PepsiCo, Heineken, P&G, Pladis Global, Moy Park, LucozadeRibena, Fresca and Samworth) and Retail (Boots-Wallgreens). The Forum has three major purposes: Sharing best practice in Innovation; Exploring major trends and disruptors in the value chain; and Scouting for external solutions to shared Innovation Needs.


Innovation Pitching Contest: The Forum membership have identified numerous business opportunities and challenges where they are looking outside of their own organisations to bring in external innovation. These needs range from sustainable packaging and value chains, through new ingredients and materials; to novel products and services; new business models and ways of interacting with consumers; and means of improving manufacturing quality, efficiency and safety. Whether you are a start-up, university researcher, SME or a major business, the group are Open to hearing your ideas and innovations. This event provides an opportunity to pitch an innovative technology, product, process or business idea to senior leaders from the Forum membership. Getting ten minutes with just one of these major players would be a great opportunity, so imagine the potential impact of presenting ideas to twenty of them! Each pitcher receives feedback from this group of experienced “dragons” and a potential route into the innovation pipelines of these global leaders.


The event is free to enter and there is no cost to attend for the 15 shortlisted pitchers – apply before 30 September to be eligible for an early-bird offer of £250 support with travel costs and early shortlisting.


Closing datefor applications: Monday 22 October


You will be asked to provide information on:

1 - Organisation or research group/department: eg; brief background; area of activity; URL. MAX 100 WORDS

2 - Innovative solution: What is the innovative solution or promising research that might offer a solution (please indicate rank?ID numbers as well as any supporting information); what is new about this approach? Is there any associated IP? MAX 200 WORDS (NOTE: DO NOT DISCLOSE ANY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION).

3 - Identified Needs addressed: Which of the Innovation Needs identified by the OI Forum members does this address; Which OI Forum member companies might be most interested in this innovation or promising research? MAX 100 WORDS

4 - Technology Readiness: eg Initial principle; proof of concept; lab demonstrator; field-trialled; commercial application. MAX 100 WORDS

5 - How did you hear about the event?


Entry requirements

You must own the rights to the technology which, in turn, must:

  • Address one or more of the identified ‘Innovation Needs’.
  • In the opinion of the judges, be new or clearly innovative, or represent a significant step forward in technology or in an application.
  • Be suitable for further commercialisation. 

Criteria for shortlisting

Your entry will be judged on:

  • How well it addresses one or more of the identified ‘Innovation Needs’. Note: higher priority ‘Needs’ will carry more weight
  • Degree of innovation
  • Scope for commercialisation


Closing date for applications: Monday 22 October


2017 Winners - read more about the 6th Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event

Overall Winner:




Highly Commended:



Spoon Guru





Previous years


See who participated and won in previous years of the Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event:


5th Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event


4th Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event


3rd Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event


2nd Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event


1st Open Innovation Forum Food & FMCG Pitching Event


Useful Links


About the OI Forum


OI Forum Current Members


Register your interest or request to pitch here.

For further information please contact:

Dominic Oughton


The deadline for requesting a pitch is Monday 22 October 2018. 

Event timings

13:30 Innovation Pitching Event

13:45 Welcome & introductions

14:00 Round 1 (8 x 7 min ‘pitches’)

14:55 Break

15:10 Round 2 (7 x 7 min ‘pitches’)

16:00 Networking drinks

16:30 Winners announced

17:00 Close (networking opportunity extended to 18:00 depending on onwards travel schedules of individuals)


Register your interest or request to pitch here.



This year’s event is being hosted at Queen’s University, Belfast.