Food and drink innovation

Make innovation happen

Innovation keeps Scotland at the forefront of consumer trends

Explore your ideas

Are you working on something new or different that will add value to your business? Whether it involves product development, your processes or employees, we can help you explore your ideas and develop them all the way through to market. 

Innovation is important to Scotland’s economy. To make innovation effective for Scottish businesses, Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise brought together representatives from across industry, academia and the public sector. The group worked in partnership to develop the new Make Innovation Happen service.

Our 'connectors' are people who know about the range of support available and can help you tap into the right support for your business. Get in touch and we can help make the connections.

Get in touch

You can also call us on 0300 013 3385


Fresh thinking

Inspiration, guidance and opportunities

We have world-class research facilities, where scientists and food and drink producers work in the spirit of collaboration to find new and innovative products for today’s discerning consumer.

But innovation doesn’t stop with what you sell – it can also involve people and process.

All businesses across the food and drink supply chain can benefit from the new Make Innovation Happen service. If you're working on something new or different that will add value to your business we can help you:

  • Develop new product for domestic or international markets
  • Invest in new, more effective equipment to improve your manufacturing process
  • Reformulate your products
  • Improve or reduce your packaging 
  • Look for help responding to changing customer trends or regulation 

Our 'connectors' are people who know about the range of support available. They'll help you tap into what’s available from across the public sector and in Scotland - and support you right through your innovation journey.

Paul Copland

With extensive knowledge of government innovation and R&D grant funding mechanisms, Paul focuses on innovation product development, helping identify and explore new opportunities.

Rachel Mirfattahi

As Sector Engagement Executive at Interface and member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, Rachel works to upskill Scottish food and drink SMEs.

Caroline MacLellan

As part of HIE’s innovation team, Caroline works to help food and drink businesses achieve their growth and innovation ambitions.

Get in touch

You can also call us on 0300 013 3385

Scotland Food and Drink | Scotland Can Do
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Paul Copland

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Rachel Mirfattahi

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Caroline MacLellan

Collaborate for success

Discover the winning formula

Interested in learning more about how food and drink innovation can support you?

Interface connects organisations from a wide variety of industries, to Scotland's higher education and research institutes. Discover how innovation can help your business grow with these case studies on the Interface website.

Read food and drink academic case studies

Read Hectares' story

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Black Wolf Brewery

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Yester Foods

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Deeside Water

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Joseph Robertson

Scottish ice cream

Can Scotland scoop up the ice cream market?

With uncharacteristically warm weather giving the, already healthy, ice cream market a boost, the sector is looking at innovation to satisfy a growing nation of gelato lovers.

Find out more


Chitosan: the new bioplastic made from shellfish

Food and drink innovation is working its magic on shellfish waste. Meet the Scottish scientists using technology to turn discarded shells into a serious sustainable replacement for plastic packaging.

Find out more

Scottish barbecue

Scotland's barbecue sector is set to sizzle

Sausages and burgers beware. The barbecue is going through a revamp and it’s setting its sights on healthier fare and international flavours to keep its customers and coals glowing.

Find out more

Collaborative Innovation Fund

Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise are investing £650,000 into a new Food and Drink Collaborative Innovation Fund.

The fund is for groups of businesses within Scotland's food and drink supply chain - with a focus on small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Larger companies may be part of the collaboration but should have at least one SME in their project. The aim of the fund is to encourage a culture of collaborative innovation by addressing key food and drink opportunities or challenges.

Collaborative Innovation Fund

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When businesses innovate, they are twice as likely to grow and three times as likely to export.

The innovation journey

1. Opportunity

Find fresh insight by better understanding the category your brand will fit into, the demand you will experience and the competitors that exist in the field. 

Research any regulations you may be subject to, and work to establish an awareness of both your brand and your consumers.

2. Proposition

Take that insight and use it to develop a concept that links clearly and simply to the needs of the consumer.

3. Viability 

Gain a clear understanding of costs and whether it will be profitable, investigate logistics, regulation and the commitment needed from people in your business.

4. Engagement 

Identify your target buyer and find a way to bring the product to life, through packaging and communications, in a way that resonates clearly with them.

5. Launch

Clarify how you will get your product to market. Find potential collaborators and create a clear promotional plan before entering the new market and scaling up.

Get in touch

You can also call us on 0300 013 3385

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"The team were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They bought into our idea right from the first meeting and we worked together to reach a great's a fantastic way for new businesses to tap into vast knowledge and expertise"

Kevin Harvie founder, Hectares Sweet Potato crisps