A powerful mix of technical, innovation and commercial support – mentoring, training, peer support and networking
BIA EOLAS is all about providing access to excellent food sector learning and information in a way that has never been possible in Ireland to date. Yes, BIA is Irish for Food, but did you know we have another reasons for using such a powerful little word ? It also stands for:
Supporting food SMEs and giving them ground breaking access to innovation supports and dedicated onsite innovation and product development personnel will have a dramatic impact on the development and success of our regional economy by supporting our creative food enterprises, SMEs and artisans. For us, that means 360 new jobs and a new approach to stimulate the high potential food sector economy in the West.
As highlighted by the Food Works programme, in an average year, there are almost 80,000 new product launches around the world. According to Mintel, 30% of new food brands fail within the first year. The failure rate is more acute in years 2 and 3 to the extent that only one third of products are still around. Why is the failure rate so high? Of the total, over 75% are copycats or me-too products. In the food sector, it is recognised that only 1- 2% were classically innovative, genuinely new or, breakthrough products. This is in the context of the need to increase food production by anything between 70 per cent and 100 per cent by 2050.
It is a Centre of Excellence and Learning which will:
Act as a central hub for a continuum of business support to get food entrepreneurs from across the region onto a growth fast-track. It will offer ambitious food entrepreneurs intensive support in marketing, technical and business development skills to accelerate the growth of their businesses, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Be a learning and nurturing environment that encourages exchange and innovation, integrating key culinary offerings: accredited career training programmes, continuing education for food entrepreneurs, industry professionals, chefs, master classes for home cooks and special events.
An enabler of food businesses to bring to market new product streams that are genuinely innovative, developing new working relationships across the food chain, targeting resources at new markets and developing leadership positions across a range of sectors. It will bring food entrepreneurs through a disciplined process of assessing their potential, exploring challenges to their ideas/ viability and enabling them to reflect on their ideas fully and from every angle.
While there are many agencies currently delivering advice and support to the food sector, the aim of the BIA EOLAS is to bring all the knowledge disciplines within the food sector into one place as a vibrant ‘one stop shop’. Food companies will be facilitated to identify their steps to progression, sign-posting to what needs to be done and which agencies to talk to, along with individual case management.
That it is an interactive zone where companies can access a Business Advisor panel and a Product Innovation Specialist which will be augmented by Teagasc involvement with other science knowledge providers.
It will provide a clear, holistic one stop shop for growth focused food entrepreneurs. Critically, it will provide access to all food enterprise and technical support agencies at an early stage in their development. However, it is more than giving access; BIA EOLAS will facilitate the development of relationships. It will prevent people from going round in circles from one agency to another. They get a myriad of supports in a fast track fashion. A seamless approach will be adopted and a holistic service offered, rather than a singular technical or marketing focus as would be the case currently.
Athenry, Co Galway
© BIA Innovator Campus 2020