Food and drink network to serve up new ideas

02 February 2012

Food and drink network to serve up new ideas

The project was established with the Scottish Funding Council

Glasgow Caledonian University is set to play a key role in a new multi-million pound scheme which will link food and drink businesses in Scotland with the academic know-how they require to grow.

The newly established Interface Food & Drink, a partnership of 17 different Universities, has been created to drive growth in the sector across Scotland from £10 billion to £12.5 billion by 2017.

The scheme developed by the industry in conjunction with the Scottish Funding Council, embraces the need for dynamic investment in innovation within the Scottish Food and Drink Industry.

GCU will feature in the network in a number of important ways.

As of January this year, GCU has hosted Howell Davies, one of two Business Engagement Executives, who have been tasked with building the long-term relationships between Universities and businesses which will be crucial to the scheme’s success. 

Mr Davies will work with businesses across the central belt and the South and West of Scotland.

There will also be two Technology Translators identifying the expertise and research already happening in Scottish academia and linking it to the Food and Drink sector. 

GCU is the only University in the UK to have a United Kingdom Accreditation Service accredited laboratory for use in food testing, which will be of great benefit to the network.

William Campbell, Associate Dean Business Development at the School of Health and Life Sciences, recently received a Scottish Funding Council grant of £242 018 towards the network.

He said the project could have benefits for many different parts of GCU.

 “This is a high impact programme.  Food and drink, aside from being one of the most important sectors in the Scottish economy, has a broad appeal to many of the academic disciplines where GCU is strong.”

The network is being led by the University of Aberdeen, The University of Abertay Dundee, and Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University together with Interface.

Mr Davies said: “This is a great opportunity for GCU and the other universities to really sell the fantastic wealth of expertise you have in the Food and Drink sector.  Our job is to facilitate this process and help make the relevant connections and I look forward to working with GCU to make this happen”

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