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Enabling. Inspiring. Connecting. Supporting.

What is it?

The Highland Food & Drink Innovation Network supports food and drink companies across the region to promote and develop new collaborations, identify opportunities for growth, improve productivity and access new markets.

Through the network, we want to help increase innovation and the use of technology specific to businesses in the food and drink sector.

The network is led by industry experts who have the knowledge to help you increase business impacts, stimulate learning, and to encourage collaboration and best practice across the sector.

How will I benefit?

By participating in the network, you will

  • Learn about new technologies and how to put them to use within your business
  • Be supported by industry expertise to identify opportunities to increase productivity, reach and competitiveness
  • Discover new opportunities to collaborate and adopt innovative practices to support your business growth ambitions and overcome challenges to increase productivity.

Who’s it for?

The network is open to all food and drink businesses across the Highland region.

Who's it led by?

Consultancy firm Rural Matters LLP will support and facilitate the Network. 


If you'd like more information or a chat about the network, please email us.

Get in touch

We want to inspire and assist companies to improve productivity, develop new market opportunities and stimulate collaborations with confidence and ambition.
Natalie Dillon, Development Manager, Food and Drink - Northern Innovation Hub

Webinar - Food and Health - How to make your food product healthier

Webinars and podcasts

What can businesses do to make their products healthier?

Find out in our recent webinar featuring Catriona Liddle from Queen Margaret University’s Scottish Centre for Food Development & Innovation, and Joanne Burns, Reformulation for Health Manager at Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDFS).

Together, they lead a discussion on how food and drink businesses in the Highlands can reformulate recipes to make their products healthier. 

The Highland Good Food Podcast series 

This season of the Highland Good Food Podcast series is all about stories. We'll be sharing food stories from folk who are already doing amazing things with food around the Highlands.

Episode 1 - Salami, seaweed and beer!

In episode 1 we hear from Anja Baak from Great Glen Charcuterie, Sam Faircliff from Cairngorm Brewery, Keith Paterson from SHØRE Seaweed and David Gass at the Highland Food & Drink Innovation Network. What drives them, and why they are so passionate about food in the Highlands. 

Listen now

Seafood on a plate at Captain's Galley seafood restaurant, Scrabster, Caithness

Highland Food and Drink Open Logistics Platform pilot project

The Highland Food and Drink Open Logistics Platform (HiPlan) pilot project aims to test if a data driven open logistics platform can be created to address key logistics-related issues in the Highland Region food and drink supply chain by:

  • boosting order fulfilment
  • reducing time to market
  • lowering distribution costs
  • improved sourcing and maximising load efficiencies
  • building supply chain resilience.

The pilot project gathers and uses data from businesses to inform the creation of an open logistics platform using adaptations of portal technology, establishing a basis to build and deploy a variety of web applications designed to meet changing business requirements.

The project took place between November 2020 and February 2021 and was funded by The DataLab and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The project team comprised Robert Gordon University, Rural Matters LLP and Celerum Ltd. all with relevant and complementary skills in logistics modelling, economic development and the Highland food and drink sector, and software systems.

Read the full report

Find out more about the pilot

Seeded cracker mix displayed on a table

Highland Crackers

How joining the Highland Food & Drink Innovation Network is helping Highland Crackers make strategic moves

View case study

Bright red langoustine

The Data Lab - Using Artificial Intelligence to design new logistics solutions

The Data Lab has helped apply artificial intelligence (AI) and nature-inspired computing to the logistical challenges faced by both logistics service providers and food and drink manufacturers operati

View case study

Zepice - Fusion Spice Blends

How joining the Highland Food & Drink Innovation Network has opened doors for Zepice

View case study

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How is it funded?

This programme is a project delivered by the Northern Innovation Hub. This is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal - a joint initiative supported by £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highlands and Islands. This programme also receives financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Innovation strategic intervention.


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