Event description

Senior leaders from major Food, Drink and FMCG firms such as Mars, PepsiCo, Diageo, Suntory, Muller, Cargill, Boots, Twinings, Yili, Nomad and Kerry are holding a pitching event for innovative companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups and university spin-offs. These companies, who are members of the University of Cambridge IfM’s Open Innovation (OI) Forum, are seeking new solutions to their business challenges, so you have the chance to pitch to them at an event on the afternoon of Thursday 1 December 2022 (pitches will be delivered online).

The 11th Food, Drink & FMCG Open Innovation Pitching Event is open to all individuals, research organisations and companies of all sizes and levels of maturity. Up to 20 entrepreneurs, start-ups, researchers, innovators and technology developers will be picked to pitch their ideas to a panel of key decision-makers and ‘innovation scouts’ from important food, Drink and FMCG firms (see full list here).

This year’s Pitching Event will focus on solutions to four of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals which the OI Forum members have identified as having the greatest relevance to the Food, Drink and FMCG sectors:

  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action

The event is being held as part of an OI Forum event hosted by Biffa plc at its PET recycling facility at Seaham, and as such, there will be a particular emphasis on ‘Innovation Needs’ related to Sustainable Packaging, including:

  • Recycling solutions for packaging materials
  • Packaging elimination and new fulfilment / business models
  • Bio / sustainably sourced packaging materials
  • Closed-loop / reusable packaging
  • Compostable packaging
  • Encouraging consumer recycling behaviours (design, usage behaviour, education…)
  • Digital / AI solutions to support sustainability and the circular economy.

In delivering the broader ambition of the UN’s SDGs, the Forum members have identified the following further ‘Innovation Needs’ as critical for success:

  • Valorising co-products and side-streams
  • Plant-based ingredients and alternative proteins
  • Resource-efficient manufacturing processes & automation
  • Microbiome & gut health
  • Reducing food waste
  • Functional nutrition & wellbeing for physical and mental health
  • Shelf-life extension & decontamination
  • Natural / clean label ingredients
  • Supply chain tracking & traceability
  • Consumer information, education & behaviour change
  • Sugar, salt, fat etc reduction
  • Healthy, sustainable enjoyment
  • Testing & validation

Submit your pitch here

Register for the online event here

  • Topics

  • Agrofood industry
  • Industrial manufacturing and materials transport