Food Innovation Network

29 September 2016

Food Innovation Network – Helping Agri-Food Businesses to Innovate

On 23 July 2015 the Prime Minister announced the creation of a new UK-wide Food Innovation Network (FIN). The FIN will be an important part of the Government’s 25 year Food and Farming Plan. 

A UK-wide industry-led FIN will tackle the barriers identified by the FRP. It will simplify, facilitate and enhance the uptake of R&D and technology. The FIN will not replace activity already being undertaken by other bodies on Agri-Food R&D and innovation. It will provide a single point of focus for food innovation.

The FIN’s objectives are to:

  • Increase collaboration and partnership by providing a service which joins up existing innovation support services, including peer to peer contacts.
  • Provide support for innovation as an ‘enabler’, particularly for SMEs, working with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and other innovation-enabling organisations. It will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for Agri-Food businesses on how to innovate in order to grow and increase productivity.
  • Join up R&D and innovation across the whole food chain by working closely with Centres of Excellence (e.g. Centres for Agricultural Innovation, public sector research establishments, higher education institutes and wider institutes).  This includes, in particular, peer to peer contacts which are important ways in which SMEs get information on innovation.  The FIN will facilitate discussions across a wide range of the Agri-Food industry and other stakeholders around what R&D and innovation is needed, when and who needs to be involved.
  • Help remove barriers to innovation identified by the FRP and other reviews.
  • Act as a focal point for transfer of knowledge and expertise on issues central to economic growth and resilience of the sector such as those affecting health and wellness; and to externalities, such as the effects of climate change and resource scarcity.

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