Winners Announced in the Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards 2011
A pioneering method to detect fake whisky through the bottle using space technology has been crowned the Food and Drink iNet Innovation Champion 2011.
Developed by The University of Leicester Space Research Centre, the technology was described by the judges as ‘a fascinating project that has huge potential for the food and drink sector’.
“Since news of the research was released earlier this year it has created interest around the world. Not only does it have great potential for fighting the war against counterfeit whisky, wine and other liquids, it also has the potential to transfer to other areas such as airport security,” they said. “It is wonderful to see such ground-breaking research being carried out in the East Midlands which will have such important implications for the food and drink sector.”
As well as receiving the Campden BRI-sponsored Innovation Champion 2011 award, The University of Leicester team, who developed the technology in association with university spin-out company Perpetuity Group, had earlier in the evening also been awarded the title of Most Innovative Research Project.
The accolade for Most Innovative Food and Drink Business went to Nottingham bakery manufacturer Butt Foods, for the way it had shown application and drive by introducing innovative business practices that had achieved 40% sales growth in six months.
The judges said: “The company has demonstrated innovative business practices by giving back to their customers. It has become an example to others of how innovation can impact on business performance.”
Lincolnshire company Libaeration, from Butterwick near Boston, was given the title of Most Innovative Business Supplying into the Food and Drink Sector for the development of the world’s first alcoholic foam. The foam, which is used to enhance coffee, desserts, cocktails and other drinks, is expected to have a wide impact on the bar, catering and hospitality trades as well as drink manufacturers and packaging manufacturers.
The judges said: “This is a new product that has tremendous export potential. It could be huge, as there’s potential for the technology to be applied to other products too.”
The awards were presented by TV presenter, writer and food critic Jay Rayner in front of around 100 guests from across the East Midlands and beyond at a ceremony at Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, Nottingham.
Organised by the Food and Drink iNet, the Innovation Awards aimed to recognise and reward the most exciting ways that businesses and organisations had introduced innovation.
“This is the fourth year we have held the Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards and once again we have had a really exciting batch of winners,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall.
“This demonstrates the world-beating innovations in the food and drink sector that are being developed in the East Midlands. The shortlisted candidates have shown that innovation takes many different forms, and I hope it inspires others to think about ways that innovation could be introduced into their own organisations.”
Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands. It has developed an effective network to encourage the collaboration of academic expertise and knowledge, and local food and drink business innovation needs.
It aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the region by helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes.
The Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Quotec Ltd (formerly Food Processing Faraday), Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region.
Notes to Editors
For further information, please contact Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall on 0845 521 2066.
Press release issued by Louise Duffield, Perfect 10 PR, Nottingham, on behalf of the Food and Drink iNet.
T. 0115 8462953 M. 07787 552647 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the contact names and numbers for the winning candidates, with more information about their innovations.
- Butt Foods Ltd, Lenton Industrial Estate, Nottingham - David Williams 0115 9850009 / 07764200772
The speciality bakery producer has achieved 40% sales growth and increased profitability within six months after initiating a range of innovative ideas to improve sales and develop new products. This has included employing a growth coach, a bakery coach, staging innovation days with customers, holding in-depth interviews with customers about what they want and their challenges, and launching a service to customers to help them solve their bakery problems. As a result, Butt Foods has just launched two new flat breads into a UK multiple retailer, a fruit bread with two major food distributors, two new roll products with a national pub chain and a hot eating roll into a nationwide
- Libaeration Ltd, Butterwick, Boston, Lincolnshire - Tim Staniland 01205 760284 / 07968185116
Specialising in edible foams for the food and drink industry, Libaeration has developed the world’s first alcoholic foam, which can be added to cocktails, drinks, coffees and desserts. To date this innovative product concept has been licensed to one global brand, the Dutch distiller Lucas Bols. It has been launched in Europe with plans to launch in the USA and around the world as soon as possible. It is expected to have a wide impact on the bar, catering and hospitality trades as well as drink manufacturers and packaging manufacturers. It is also making molecular mixology available to the general public.
- The University of Leicester Space Research Centre - Tim Maskell 0116 2231372/07990 897981
Working with University of Leicester spin out company Perpetuity Group, researchers in the Space Research Centre have invented a unique and simple way of detecting counterfeit whisky through the bottle based on space technology. The Scotch whisky industry estimates that the six leading producers lose more than £500m pa through counterfeit crime. The researchers then worked with de Montfort University’s design department to develop a handheld device for testing the authenticity of the contents of bottled drinks. A market launch is expected within months. The technology could be used in the future to detect other counterfeit liquids
About ERDF nationally
The ERDF Programme aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by supporting regional economic development.
The ERDF objectives for England are:
· Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
· Stimulating enterprise and supporting successful business
· Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption
· Building sustainable communities
· Improving accessibility and connectivity (for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only - as part of their Convergence Programme).
A Programme Monitoring Committee consisting of regional stakeholders such as RDAs, Regional Assemblies, Local Authorities, Sub-regional Partnerships, Higher Education Institutions, Trade Unions, and the private and voluntary sectors will monitor and oversee programme implementation in each region.
For more information on ERDF funding generally, please visit www.communities.gov.uk/citiesandregions/european or http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/feder/index_en.htm
About ERDF in the East Midlands
The East Midlands is eligible for €268.5m between 2007 and 2013, which when combined with match funding, provides a programme value of approximately €537m - a significant investment in the economic development of the region.
The East Midlands qualifies as a competitiveness and employment region under the EU's Cohesion Policy, which aims to meet the EU Lisbon objective to become 'the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social inclusion.'
East Midlands Development Agency (emda) was responsible for the programme management and delivery of the region's 2007-13 ERDF Competitiveness Programme. However, from 1st July 2011, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) took on management of ERDF in the East Midlands.
To find out more about ERDF, the region's strategy for delivering the funds, how to apply for funding and how the programme is managed, please visit http://www.communities.gov.uk/regeneration/regenerationfunding/europeanregionaldevelopment/eastmidlands/
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