The UK food and drink industry is operating in an increasingly global context and to stay competitive it must be constantly innovating. The FDF provides a hub where innovative ideas can come alive. Whether the driver is health and wellness, sustainability or something else, the FDF can be central to your ambitions.

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Automation and manufacturing technology

Automation is likely to be a key development in food manufacturing as part of the need to increase efficiency and productivity.



The FDF maintains close ties to funding bodies, as well as researchers and businesses with specialist knowledge in various innovation areas.

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Low carbon technology

As the UK embraces Net Zero Carbon targets, low carbon technology will be an important area for development.

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Government Food Strategy

The FDF welcome the new Food Strategy, which is an endorsement of the success and centrality of the UK’s food industry, from farming to manufacturing, retail and hospitality.


Pre-competitive research priorities

Topics of shared interest to the food and drink sector that underpin progress towards key societal issues can be supported by pre-competitive research which we aim to identify with FDF members.

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Resource efficiency

Doing more with less, has long been a focus for our sector but this will be even more of a priority going forward, and supports FDF's Ambition 2025.

Latest updates

KTN Food Sector Advisory Board meeting


Last week the FDF attended the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) Food Sector Advisory Board meeting at the National Centre of Excellence in Food Engineering (NCEFE) part of Sheffield Hallam University.  Members of the group include businesses, academic institutions and research centres with a focus on innovation and technical skills across the Food & Drink Sector.

The meeting took place over two days and included a workshop session as part of a refresh of the groups’ strategy document to align with the recently published UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) strategy.

The meeting included presentations on:

  • 2022 Mega Presentations in Food & Ultra Processed Food
  • Microbiome research at the Quadram Institute
  • Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge
  • Fresh Produce Impact Hub and their work on plastics innovation
  • Investment challenges from EIT Food
  • The IFST Project Inspire – promoting skills across the sector

For more information about any of the presentations listed above or the work of the KTN Food Group please contact Tanya.


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Diet and Health Open Innovation Research Club: Innovation Hubs

UKRI and BBSRC are launching a new Diet and Health Open Innovation Research Club (OIRC) with the aim to:

  • Bring together the diet and health community, industry, policymakers and other stakeholders to enable collaborations that will lead to new products, tools, services, technologies
  • Enable translation of relevant bioscience research and accelerate research uptake by industry

As part of this they are seeking applications for innovation hubs, and the call for applications is now live. More information on the call can be found at Diet and Health Open Innovation Research Club: Innovation Hubs – UKRI.

We wanted to highlight a new Microsoft teams collaboration platform that they have developed, to enable the diet and health community to work with industry and policymakers to co-design Innovation Hub proposals – if you would like to be added to the Teams Platform please send an email to and they will add your email address to the platform to give you access. If you are interested in getting involved, they are also hosting Innovation Hub Collaboration and Engagement workshops. There will be 2 Innovation Hub Collaboration and Engagement workshop sessions: session 1 (Tuesday 26th April 12:00-16:00) and session 2 (Thursday 28th April 12:00-16:00). The workshops provide an opportunity for applicants to further outline their ideas and network with industry and policymakers before final submission. The community can build on initial connections made through the OIRC teams collaboration platform and discuss their ideas with BBSRC.

Please find more information about the Innovation Hub Collaboration and Engagement workshops and register for the events using the links below. Both events will follow the same format, so you are welcome to attend either or both events, but as there are different zoom links for each meeting please register for each event separately.

Innovation news

Innovation Gateway: Unlocking the technology in food and drink

A unique collaboration making it easier for food and drink companies in England, Scotland and Wales to adopt cutting edge technology and grow their business has been launched today.

Read more

M5: UK manufacturing holds key to unlocking Government’s domestic and global ambitions

The success of the UK’s manufacturing sector will be central to Government’s ability to deliver on its national ambitions to level up the whole country, reach Net Zero by 2050 and become a global science super-power.

Read more

National Food Strategy Part II Report - Update

FDF’s Chief Scientific Officer, Kate Halliwell responds to the publication of the second part of the National Food Strategy report.

Read more

All news

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How we can help your business

Report: Feeding the Future: Working together to build the National Food Strategy

08 October 2021

The Food and Drink Sector Council offers food chain solutions as part of the industry’s contribution to the UK Government’s forthcoming National Food Strategy.

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Report: A recipe for growth, prosperity and sustainability

06 May 2020

This is our shared plan for governments to work in partnership with the UK’s food and drink industry to ensure it continues to lead the world and meet the needs of UK consumers and shoppers.

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