Scotland has launched a fund to encourage food companies to collaborate and spearhead new innovations in the food industry.

The Collaboration Innovation Fund was launched at an event in Edinburgh – last week – by the Scottish Government’s Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing. Backed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise it will support ‘food and drink businesses across the supply chain in Scotland’.

“Scotland’s reputation as an innovative and globally trading nation is recognised but we need to do more. We want more of our food and drink businesses to sell more goods and services to more markets. We want existing investors to develop, grow and expand in Scotland and to ensure that we remain a location of choice for inward investors,” Ewing said. “Innovation will be key to delivering the industry’s strategic ambitions to double the turnover of the industry by 2030.  This fund will help bring business and academia together to help deliver greater growth.”

This fund will support the country’s ‘Ambition 2030’ initiative – launched earlier this year – to double the turnover of Scotland’s food and drink industry – to £30 billion by 2030. Talking at the time of its launch, James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive said that by “working collaboratively, there is every reason we can make Scotland the best place in the world to run a food and drink business.”

On this latest announcement, he added: “The pace of change in terms of food and drink production, supply chains and consumer behaviour is remarkable.  We will need to embrace a culture of cutting-edge innovation and collaboration to meet the ambitions of our new industry strategy. This fund is an important new step to help drive that culture.”