An organisation that links businesses to universities has joined forces with a key food and drink industry body to launch a £130,000 challenge fund to support net zero R&D projects.
Interface and Scotland Food and Drink (SFD) can award up to £10,000 to food and drink businesses across Scotland who participate in the scheme.
The Scottish Food and Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund is open to businesses working in or with the food and drink industry addressing sustainability challenges. Interface will matchmake businesses with academic experts from Scottish universities, research institutes or colleges to support the projects.
Applications are welcomed across the supply chain from primary production, manufacturing, food service, supply chains, retail and technology.
Key areas for funding
Funding may be awarded to projects in a wide range of areas such as sustainable agricultural practices, food waste, sustainable ingredients and packaging, resource and energy efficiency, water use or waste valorisation – the process of reusing, recycling or composting waste materials and converting them into more useful products.
Businesses who would like support in finding an academic partner to help solve their net zero challenges have until the 17th November to get in touch with Interface.
Applications to the fund then need to be jointly submitted by the 17th December.
The new fund is a key initiative of the Scotland Food and Drink partnership’s recovery plan, which is supported by the Scottish Government to the tune of £10m.
Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said the fund would support both low carbon innovation in a key sector as well as create jobs.
She said: “Food and drink is one of Scotland’s most important economic sectors and is the largest manufacturing industry, supporting thousands of jobs and livelihoods.
“We want its success to continue into the future and for the sector to play its full part in helping Scotland to be fairer and greener.
“This project will benefit the environment and promote co-operation between business and academia.
“At the same time, it will also help identify potential opportunities for the sector to grow and prosper, creating new jobs with green skills, and enabling and encouraging its recovery and resilience.
John Davidson, strategy and external relations director for SFD said: “The Scottish Food and Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund is a massive opportunity for Scottish food and drink businesses to get access to academic expertise which they may never have had without it.”