New technology for improving food safety wins first Open Innovation Forum Pitching Event

The Open Innovation Forum held its first Pitching Event this week, which was hosted at the Hauser Forum in Cambridge.

The event saw 18 innovators from start-ups, spin-outs, SMEs and universities present their ideas to an audience of senior leaders and decision-makers from major companies such as Unilever, Siemens and Tate & Lyle, all with an interest in the Food and FMCG sectors. Using a points system, pitchers were judged on their degree of innovation, if their idea addressed the companies’ innovation needs, and how much scope it had for commercialisation.


Ideas were presented as a five-minute pitch followed by a Q&A session which included food processing technologies, innovative foods and ingredients, design tools, inkjet printing software, mobile phone applications for healthcare and packaging material.


The event’s winner was Anacail, a spin-out of the Astrophysics Department at Glasgow University, with its unique patented technology for the easy, safe and chemical-free generation of active oxygen (ozone), a recognised powerful germicide, inside sealed containers.


The four runners-up were:


Global Inkjet Systems (GIS) - a small company which designs innovative software and electronics for industrial inkjet printing systems.

Nextek Ltd - a small and highly specialised company focused on delivering innovative end-of-life solutions for plastics packaging which has developed odourless recycled plastics for use in new packaging.

Eminate Ltd - owned by the University of Nottingham, Eminate has developed products including a salt reduction ingredient and a new satiety product which makes people feel full for longer.

HarvestMark - a California-based SME dedicated to developing innovative solutions in the food industry that provide information about food to shoppers and information about shoppers to food suppliers, and which holds 16 issued patents on traceability technology.


All participants had the chance to meet the OI Forum companies during the day, and start conversations which may help them develop or commercialise their product.


The 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.


Pictures of the event can be found here.

Date published

14 March 2013

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