Three businesses which have been working with The University of Nottingham to develop new ideas won awards at the 2012 Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards.
Sutton in Ashfield based company, Lindhurst Innovation Engineers, won the main accolade of the night, the Campden BRI Innovation Champion award for its work in transforming farm waste into energy.
Lindhurst has been partnering with The University of Nottingham and Arla Foods to develop a microbial fuel cell. The company, which is based in Sutton in Ashfield, has employed a post-doctoral researcher from the University, through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme, to develop the technology.
Converting waste into energy
The microbial fuel cell converts farm effluent and dairy by-products into electricity and bio-gas. Lindhurst have already developed a production scale fuel cell at the University’s Sutton Bonington campus, and anticipate that within 18 months they will have a product that can be offered commercially to the market.
'Beer in a box'
Another company which worked closely with The University of Nottingham also achieved success at the Food and Drink iNet awards. Moonshine Drinks won the Most Innovative New Product Development Award. The company has produced a carton based ‘beer in a box’ product where consumers simply need to add water to make real ale with an ABV of 4 per cent.
A third business, Dovedale Foods, based in Ashbourne, was awarded The Clegg Food Projects Ltd Most Innovative Business Growth Award for the creation of Agile Manufacturing, a term applied to an organisation that has created processes to enable it to respond quickly to customer needs and market changes while still controlling costs and quality. Two Masters students from the University were placed into Dovedale Foods to work on packaging alternatives and the use of different thickening agents for sauces.
The University of Nottingham itself was also shortlisted for the Most Innovative Collaboration Award at the event, for its work with The University of Northampton to study the effects of yeast on the aroma of blue cheeses.
Speaking about the Food and Drink Innovation Awards, Mike Carr, Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services at The University of Nottingham, said: “I am very pleased that Lindhurst, Dovedale Foods and Moonshine Drinks have all been recognised at the iNet awards. We have been working closely with them to help them develop and refine their products.
“At The University of Nottingham we have world leading expertise and facilities to help businesses improve cutting edge processes and products, making them market ready. We always welcome the opportunity to meet with businesses that have innovative ideas and are interested in opportunities for us to collaborate together.”
Tenacity and creativity
Dr. Jerry Avis from The University of Nottingham, who worked closely with Dovedale Foods and Moonshine Drinks on their ideas, added: “We are delighted to have been of assistance to these companies in their quest to bring innovative products to market.
"Each has shown a blend of tenacity and creativity in their product development that is sure to provide a bedrock for future growth and bring prosperity to the region. We congratulate them on their awards and wish them success in the future.”
The Food and Drink iNet is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum including The University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region.
For more information about the Food and Drink iNet visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk
For details about The University of Nottingham’s services for business, visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/servicesforbusiness