Can you help Mars, PepsiCo and Heineken find innovative solutions to their business challenges?

Senior leaders from major food and FMCG firms such as Mars, Heineken, Unilever, Tesco, United Biscuits and Cargill are holding a pitching event for innovative companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups and university spin-offs.

Members of the Open Innovation (OI) Forum are seeking new solutions to their business challenges, to be presented at an event held on 17 November at Food Matters Live, ExCel, London.


The 4th Food & FMCG Innovation Pitching Event is open to all individuals, research centres and companies of all sizes and levels of maturity from the UK and international innovation communities.

Up to 15 researchers, innovators and technology developers will be picked to pitch their ideas to a panel of key decision-makers and ‘innovation scouts’ from important food and FMCG firms (see full list here). However, all participating pitches will be circulated to OI Forum members, whether they are shortlisted or not.


Ideas presented should specifically address one or more of the Forum’s business needs identified in this list and fall within one of the following categories:

  • Life sciences - including ingredients, health, food safety, preservatives and synthetic biology;
  • Materials – including packaging materials, waste reduction and sustainability;
  • Manufacturing - 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 event is free to enter and winners will receive a certificate and trophy, as well as the chance to present their ideas and products in front of senior leaders and decision-makers whose main job role is to scout for and acquire innovation and technology from outside their organisations.

The deadline for requesting a pitch is 23 October.

For more information and to enter the competition visit this webpage.