Open Innovation Forum food sector competition held at Müller in Munich

The Open Innovation Forum met in Munich on 28-29 November and heard pitches from innovative companies seeking to change the food, drinks and FMCG sectors for the better.

On 28-29 November 2023, the Autumn meeting of the Open Innovation (OI) Forum  was hosted by Müller Group in Freising, Munich. Around 70 OI Forum members, guests, keynote speakers and pitchers attended.

The afternoon of Day 2 saw the annual Forum pitching event where 19 start-ups and scale-ups shared their innovations. Each entry aims to deliver one of the OI Forum priority needs and impact the key Sustainable Development Goals of Sustainability, Health, Waste and Net-Zero. Finalists were selected from a strong field of around 50 entries. 

The 2023 winner was:

Kelpi – Kelpi’s mission is to address climate change and the horrors of plastic pollution through developing an alternative to fossil-fuel based packaging out of seaweed and other plant material from renewable sources.

Highly commended:

Kern Tec – Kern Tec have developed process technologies to transform tons of wasted fruit kernels from apricots, cherries or plums into high quality ingredients for plant based milk, and the confectionary and bakery sector.

Zotefoams – Zotefoams presented their innovation ReZorce – a sustainable beverage carton. ReZorce(R) is a mono-material polyethylene based alternative to the composite liquid paperboard cartons, made with aluminium, fibre and polymers, that are on shelves and are challenging to recycle.

The other shortlisted pitchers, from a very strong set of applications, were:

About the OI Forum

Established in October 2010, the Open Innovation (OI) Forum offers a programme of structured support and opportunity for companies from all stages of the Food and FMCG value chain, from ingredients and packaging, through brand-owner, manufacturing and the final link: retail.

A central focus for the Forum is to support members in harnessing external innovations from outside their organisations, including by highlighting exciting new ventures, ideas and emerging technologies from start-ups and innovators. Often this presents an ideal symbiotic relationship with creative start-ups needing to grow by building relationships with bigger clients.

To facilitate these connections, the OI Forum hosts regular pitching competitions like this to provide an opportunity for innovators and technology spin-outs, start-ups and SMEs to pitch their ideas or business to large companies.