We asked James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink to tell us his views on innovation in the food and drink industry: “Innovation is critical to the continued success of the food and drink industry and a wide range of activity supports its development in the sector.”
He explained: “Innovation is a key element of the industry strategy and we identified from day one that we need to ‘up our game’ in Scotland. Historically, the food and drink sector invested less in research and development than other sectors of the Scottish economy. We also need to bridge the gap between businesses and academic institutions and research centres which often seemed to talk different languages. However, since 2009, the level of R&D investment in the sector has more than doubled so we’ve really started to motor now. That’s a key reason I believe that we’ve seen the manufacturing sector in Scotland grow at two and half times the rate of the UK average over the last few years.”
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