By the NZFIN team

Supporting growth in the food and beverage industry underpins everything NZFIN does. With three of our five open-access development and scale-up facilities based on university campuses, the ability for businesses to tap into student resources is a win/win/win.

Through collaboration, university students nearing the end of their studies get involved in projects for external clients, helping to solve problems or develop new products, all while putting their studies into industry context. Businesses get to link into new innovation and thinking in a low-risk way. From solving quality and food safety issues, developing optimising or trouble-shooting a process, functional food evaluations, NPD research, through to development and onto product testing and scale-up. There are multiple ways industry can benefit from the injection of new ideas, enthusiasm or approaches to tackle problems or opportunities.

For NZFIN and the industry as a whole, it’s applied learning, it gives students the real-world experience they will need to help our industry brave new frontiers and continue to drive growth for New Zealand. This is our next generation of innovators and the industry partnerships that kick-off at the beginning of each year is a vital pathway for us all. These students are our next industry game changers and we need to support them now so we all benefit later.

As an industry sponsor, any IP developed by students in your project remains yours, all students are supported and supervised by university staff, with access to the large range of equipment and facilities that exist at both their university and at FoodPilot or FoodSouth Otago.

While Massey and Otago universities have fourth-year students available across the country in Auckland, Palmerston North, and Dunedin for projects, Massey also has a collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Technology where research or deep science can form the basis of a project with an international lens. FoodSouth can also provide connections to Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury.

Businesses of all sizes can take part to help turn innovative concepts into early product prototypes all while fostering and encouraging the next generation of Food Scientists.

Visit www.foodinnovationnetwork.co.nz/blog/nurturing-the-future to learn more and connect with the separate programmes and universities.


The New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN) is a government-funded organisation to support and enable our food and beverage industry to innovate, grow and succeed, ideally at an international scale. Via its network of facilities where any business can access its equipment and business development support to test, develop and scale up their products from concept to commercialisation.

The information and opinions within this column are not necessarily the views or opinions of Hot Source, NZ Food Technology, or the parent company, Hayley Media.