Scottish Enterprise has issued a call to contractors to support the development of a Food & Health Innovation Centre costing from £3M to £6M to stimulate food industry breakthroughs in these areas.
“Scottish Enterprise put out the call a few weeks ago,” said Professor John Palfreyman, head of contemporary studies at the University of Abertay, which has participated in the consultation process. The initial deadline for tenders has now elapsed.
“There are a number of levels at which expertise can impact on the food industry,” said Palfreyman. “There’s blue-sky thinking, which has an impact in 30-40 years, and the Food Innovation Centre at [the University of] Abertay, which looks at innovation that can be delivered now. Then there are the intermediate-term projects, which would be handled by the Food & Health Innovation Centre.”
Scottish Enterprise (SE) is calling for a research and development contractor to design the unit and operate it for up to five years. The contractor’s brief would be to work with firms and research bodies throughout Scotland to strengthen innovation.
The centre would aim to engage with 300 firms over the five-year period to build capacity and identify innovation opportunities in food and health, according to SE. A smaller number of companies will progress on to product development projects facilitate directly by the centre, it said.
“This project aims to deliver a step-change in the food and drink industry by enabling Scottish companies to accelerate the launch of new products into the food & health market,” said SE in a contract notice.