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Prestigious student food innovation awards launched

07 January 2013

Campden BRI, a UK food and drink research organisation, in conjunction with the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), the qualifying body for food professionals in Europe, has scored a UK industry first with the launch of ‘Ecotrophelia Europe’ – a prestigious European-wide food innovation competition which promotes innovation, creativity and sustainability to students pursuing a career in the food sector

Backed by the European Commission in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship and global brands such as: The Coca-Cola Company and Nestlé, Ecotrophelia is a ‘Dragons’ Den-style’ competition which challenges students to develop brand-new, innovative, eco-friendly food products, to win a share of a prize pot of up to €15000 (fifteen thousand Euros).

The annual competition has been established since 2000 with 12 participating countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia. 2013 will mark the first time ever that the UK has taken part in the initiative which not only attracts talented students from the food sector but also serves as an incubator for innovative ideas for the food industry as a whole.

The UK heat of the competition is being organised jointly by Campden BRI and the IFST and is open to teams of students from UK universities. Shortlisted students will be invited to pitch on 5 June 2013 to the ‘dragons’, a distinguished judging panel of top food industry specialists which will include representatives from PepsiCo, Sainsbury’s, Warburtons, Coca Cola, Genius and defra, for a share of a prize fund worth over £3.5K.

The winning student team will be announced the following day at Campden BRI’s annual, high-profile food industry event ‘Campden BRI Day’ on 6 June 2013. The successful students will then go forward as the UK entry to the European leg of the competition to compete with 20 other participating countries.

Bertrand Emond, Head of Membership and Training at Campden BRI, said: “The food and drink manufacturing sector is one of the largest industries in Europe, with more than €1 trillion turnover accounting for over 4.3 million jobs. Innovation and creativity is essential if the food industry is to continue to grow and meet the demands of consumers now and into the future. We need a steady influx of creative, intelligent, gifted students who are committed to working in food science, research and new product innovation.

“That is what Ecotrophelia Europe is all about – encouraging young, ambitious individuals in higher education to gain useful and practical ‘real-life’ experience of bringing a new food product to market and get a taste for themselves of what is required for a successful career in this dynamic industry sector.

“As the world’s largest independent membership-based organisation carrying out research and development for the global food and drinks industry, we are committed to supporting young and emerging talent in the food sector and are excited to be helping to organise the first ever UK heats of these important food innovation student awards.”

Jon Poole, chief executive of the IFST, commented: “We know that the food sector offers really exciting career opportunities especially for those involved in studying food science and technology. Ecotrophelia provides an excellent opportunity for students from all around the UK to not only showcase their talent but also bring their own studies to life through this very practical competition.

“We are clear that one of the best ways of attracting and supporting young people who are thinking about a career in the food sector is through employer involvement and support. Here is a very practical way in which a number of employers are demonstrating their commitment.”

The closing date for UK entries is Friday, 22 March 2013.


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