Businesses with innovative ideas in the food and drink sector could be in the running for up to £100k of support from Scottish EDGE thanks to a new funding award.
Supported by Scotland Food & Drink, this new award forms part of the 22nd round of Scottish EDGE Awards which open for submissions on 12th July 2023, offering a prize fund of over £1m.
Scotland’s food and drink sector is one of the nation’s biggest industries, valued at £15bn and targeting £20bn by 2028, with exports doubling in the last decade. This new award will support innovative businesses to be part of this growth with a prize of up to £100,000 for the top food and drink business idea in the latest round of the Scottish EDGE competition. The award will comprise 30% grant and 70% loan.
The introduction of the Scotland Food and Drink EDGE Award aims to emulate the successes of Scottish EDGE’s Net Zero and Circular Economy focused special awards, all of which have resulted in their respective sectors generating a significant increase in representation at the application and finalist stages, round on round.
To date, Scottish EDGE has supported 569 businesses, awarding over £23 million in grants and loans while helping to create over 3,281 jobs and boosting turnover of awardee companies by £627 million.
For Scotland Food & Drink, the partnership will support the sector to thrive, encouraging and supporting innovation in the sector and helping Scotland consolidate its position as a leading supplier of high-quality homegrown food and drink.
Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE said: “The introduction of the Scotland Food and Drink EDGE award is testament to a growing sector that is integral to Scotland’s economy and place on the world stage.
“The generous support of Scotland Food & Drink will allow Scottish EDGE, through the Scotland Food and Drink EDGE Award, to raise the profile of the innovative businesses working to highlight the bounty of food and drink options being farmed, nurtured and manufactured right here in Scotland.”
Iain Baxter, Chief Executive at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Our nation’s food and drink businesses are among the most entrepreneurial and innovative in the world, and it’s important that we can support them through initiatives like the Scottish EDGE awards.
“Scotland Food & Drink shares many of the same values as Scottish EDGE, with sustainable growth at the heart of our recently published industry strategy. Collaboration is another key theme, and by partnering with Scottish EDGE, we are looking forward to supporting the winning food and drink businesses.”
Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, Chair of Scotland Food and Drink, said: “As a founder of a Scottish food and drink business, I know first-hand the importance of funding to bring ideas to fruition. I’m proud that Scotland Food & Drink is partnering with Scottish EDGE to support and fund the next great idea our dynamic sector produces through this award.”
The latest round of Scottish EDGE Awards, Round 22, has opened with applications being accepted until 2pm on Wednesday 2nd August. The live, two-day pitching final is planned for late November, and prizes, ranging from £10,000 to £100,000, will be awarded to some of Scotland’s most innovative startup businesses at an awards ceremony following the pitching days. Scottish EDGE is supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, The Hunter Foundation, Scottish Government, and Scottish Enterprise.