Start-up companies in the food and drink sector could be in the running for up to £100,000 of support from Scottish EDGE via a new sector-specific funding award.

Supported by Scotland Food & Drink, the new award is part of the 22nd round of the Scottish EDGE competition which is open for submissions with a prize fund of more than £1 million. It follows the addition of the EDGE Circular Economy special prize in 2019 and the EDGE Net Zero award in 2022.

Valued at £15 billion and targeting £20bn by 2028, Scotland's food and drink sector is one of the nation's biggest industries with exports doubling in the last decade. The new prize of up to £100,000 will be comprised of 30% grant money and 70% loan.

READ MORE: Scottish EDGE hands out £1.6m in latest funding round

“As a founder of a Scottish food and drink business, I know first-hand the importance of funding to bring ideas to fruition," said Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, chair of Scotland Food and Drink. "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.” 

First launched in 2013, Scottish EDGE supports young innovative businesses with high growth potential. To date it has supported 569 businesses with a total of approximately £23m in grants and loans, helping to create more than 3,200 jobs and boosting the collective turnover of its winners by £627m.

“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," Scottish EDGE chief executive Evelyn McDonald said.

READ MORE: New programme 'to make the Scottish economy sing’

“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, added: “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.”