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Monash Food Innovation Centre

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MFIC Q2 2017

What’s been happening?

Friends of the FIC……who’s been using our services to turn projects into reality?

Our Food Innovation Team is focused on the survival and renewal of the Australian food sector.We encourage precious ideas to grow, that will in time, ensure brighter futures and prosperity for food manufacturers.

Well thought out and tested innovation pushes the Australian food bowl forward, and we all benefit.

Unlocking an untapped beverage occasion:

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more unmet needs in beverage consumption, the FIC was recently commissioned by a beverage player to research and quantify a potential new consumption opportunity that could launch globally should the consumer work discover healthy demand and future habit creation.

The FIC expertise applied our front end innovation tools of Knowledge Mapping, Product Mapping and Consumer Research Product Labs (both domestically and abroad) to critique and build on this opportunity. The insights gathered at each step of the process were harvested and bolstered to make sure the final product offering is as aspirational and functional as it can be.

Commercialisation will be in 2018 as planning and investment continues to add scale to the potential of this launch. Everyday use is a real ambition and the FIC looks forward to seeing the product range launched next year.

A tough nut to crack in the Dairy Industry

‘Bringing Ideas to Life’ is an approach that we find more businesses investing in to make sure they have an optimised ‘human centred’ approach to pack design to differentiate them from their competitive set and give consumers an avenue to be loyal to the superior execution of the good that they are bringing to market. (If the idea is unique enough it can be patented which also guarantees a period of sole ownership).

A one day workshop that encouraged immersion, drawing and physically prototyping was facilitated by
Daryl Thompson (Design Studio manager) in February. The brief surrounded a ‘greenhoused’ idea that had been incubating for over 10 years without solution!

If a suitable packaging solution could be found, the new product suite would be launched in 2018. Thirty concepts were devised throughout the day with a mixture of the manufacturer’s executive team and the experts for the FIC’s Design department. These robust concepts were synthesised into 3 ‘winning ideas’ that are undergoing further prototyping, 3D printing, consumer check in, real life practicality discussions, costing scrutinisation and mould and production sampling.

All in all, some excellent outcomes that may just solve a ‘cold case’ and bring to market a clearly differentiated offer in a largely ‘commodity’ space.

The tools used by the FIC to come to these solutions are available to any manufacturer seeking to get more heads than one and a proven methodology to solve differentiating packaging.

Mould making by the FIC’s well credentialed Industrial Designer

Nick Booker is a Senior Industrial Designer that is very well schooled in the art of fashioning award winning mould designs.

In the trophy cabinet are mould designs for Mondelez International spanning Marvellous Creations, The Natural Confectionery Company, Seasonal Eggs and Bunnies and many more.

Nick commences the brief with hand sketches which progress to CAD files, 3D prints, vac tray construction and eventually, pilot moulding.

Check out some of Nick’s handy work when next in store. The Natural Confectionery Company has just launched ‘Garden Friends’ into Sugar Confectionery and Nick’s ‘snail’ and ‘owl’ are two of his favourite characters.

Grab Nick’s details off the Food Innovation web site if you have a need for these types of skills. Just another way that the FIC can bring your ideas to life!

Considering China export opportunities? It pays to understand the China consumer’s opinions first! The FIC can help you do this…..

How you can adapt your innovations for the Chinese market and conduct market / consumer research via a reputable conglomerate that can also create a pathway for export should your product test positively?

We are proud to announce, an historic agreement between Monash University and COFCO,  Nutrition and Health Research Institute (NHRI), one of China’s biggest food companies.

The strategic alliance between the FIC and COFCO NHRI, is aimed at boosting Australian exports to China by ensuring the product is right. Access to COFCO NHRI’s innovation and R&D resources, in-depth knowledge of Chinese consumers, regulatory expertise and market delivery platforms to fast track supply opportunities for Australian exporters makes this alliance very attractive for Australian Food and Agricultural companies looking at accessing the China market.

The first step is to understand how to adapt your product to the target consumers in China.

The FIC and COFCO can make this happen. Robust, timely and affordable research, actually conducted in China. This partnership also provides Australian manufacturers access to food safety testing and sensory testing.

Please contact Angeline Achariya (FIC CEO) for further details if you are interested to export to China through this pathway and check out our web site for further information.


Want to apply for a Victorian Government grant, but don’t know which category or where to start? Kate Tunney is here to help……..

Victorian Government Grant Programs for the Food and Fibre Sector

The food and fibre sector in Victoria employs 191,700 people and achieved an export value of $11.9 billion in 2015-16. Identified as one of six priority sectors, it will underpin the State’s future economy, driving jobs, growth and attracting new investment.

The Victorian Government has established a Future Industries Fund to support the growth of this high value sector. Some of the current competitive grant programs for which companies are invited to apply include:

The Future Industries Manufacturing Program Fund (FIMP) – Grants to assist companies to implement new manufacturing technologies and processes that will provide a critical foundation for growth.

Local Industry Fund for Transition Fund (LIFT)– this is a structural adjustment fund that supports investment by businesses leading directly to the creation of new sustainable jobs in regions affected by the announced closures of the three major car manufacturers.

The Sector Growth Fund provides funding for projects that will support the growth of the sector and applications are invited from consortia (comprising at least three stakeholders) including at least one Victorian SME.

More details on all of these programs and full eligibility criteria are available on the Business Victoria website www.businessvictoria.vic.gov.au

If you would like to discuss a project or possible grant application, please contact Kate Tunney, Victorian Government Business Office, in the first instance, on 03 9938 0175 or at kate.tunney@ecodev.vic.gov.au


2017 Capability and Workshop program:

Learn with us through our fully revamped 2017 Innovation programs

Over last 3 years more than 700 SMEs have participated in our programs.

This has resulted in many businesses being able to increase the odds of success their innovation.

We have an entire calendar year of new programs (from full day to events to breakfasts) rolling out now in 2017 so here’s your chance to register and learn how to co-create, accelerate and de-risk your innovation.

The 2 workshops are on offer for 2017 are……(hurry and book as places are limited)

1. Workshops: ‘Bringing Ideas to Life’ using Best Practice Innovation

  • One day workshop providing an overview of best practice tools and proven methodologies including engaging, interactive exercises to reinforce learning.
  • Tools such as Insights to Ideas and Design Thinking will provide the impetus to ‘Bring your ideas to life’.

Dates: METRO 3/5, 25/7, 9/8, 6/9, and 11/10

REGIONAL: 14/6, 6/8, 14/9, 18/10

2. Event: ‘Winning Innovation through Retail eyes’ (Understanding Retail language and getting ranged)

  • How do I ensure that my new product has every chance to succeed when I present it to Retailers?
  • What do I need to be most aware of to make my offer shelf ready, legal and compelling to Buyers?
  • What negotiation language do I need to speak and understand?
  • Checklist for success

Dates: Metro (Monash University Clayton) 16/5

For more information including dates go to www.foodinnovationcentre.com.au for all the latest details.

To register interest or seek further information, don’t hesitate to email Program and Capability manager
Rod Heath on rod.heath@monash.edu


Additional training Modular Series

FIC Intrapreneurship program…empowering employees to make a difference.

Are you seeking a customised innovation best practice capability program for your team?

The FIC offers a best in class Intrapreneurship Academy that can be fully tailored to arm and empower individuals with a proven methodology to enact and critique innovation.

The duration of the course can be tailored to allow participants time to digest the learnings and keep up with their day jobs at the same time!

The modular course can be run within a business or organisation with cross functional team members. To enhance ‘active learning’, the program can cater for a live business challenge that is relevant to employees from the business undertaking the course, or the Food Innovation Centre has a Case Study that will engage all attendees and bring each module to life.

The program practices fundamental innovation tools that can be applied immediately upon re entering the day to day office space including Knowledge Mapping and Product Mapping.

Other essential skills include…….

  • Developing great ideas from consumer insights
  • Design Thinking / bring Your Ideas to Life.
  • Create, design and physically build your ideas!
  • Then, design prototype for fast iterative development and potential 3D printing.

Note: Product Labs are also highly recommended when building an innovation ‘pantry’ for the future as best practice requires checking in with your potential loyal consumers and making sure you craft your new offer to their exact needs.


Hear from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and their recent experience:

In March 2017, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) engaged the Food innovation Centre to train our Young Food Innovators from industries such as red meat, horticulture, dairy, seafood, pork, wine. The aim of the Intrapreneuer training was to develop new knowledge and deep market insights to inform more strategic innovation investment decisions (at both industry and value chain levels) that will lead to increased value for primary products and returns for producers.

The course with the Food Innovation Centre was co designed to be very practical with as much ‘hands on’ learning as possible. Our aim was to allow the attendees to unearth innovation opportunities and support high value growth initiatives that will build demand for Australia’s agricultural food products in emerging export markets and market segments over the next 3-5 years and beyond.

“The practical application of each module really resonated with our team. Over several days, they rolled up their sleeves and were able to really dig in and bring to life each simulation. The feedback to us as conveners of the program was that our Young Innovators grasped the tools and felt they could apply them when they returned to their work places. This bodes well for bolstering innovation pipelines with ideas and methodologies that will translate to better new product initiatives across the board.

The environment for this course at Monash Clayton was inspiring. We used many of the University’s facilities and spaces to keep the team energised and combined with well thought out and  insightful course content, Intrapreneur Best Practice delivered tangible, future innovation methodologies that will undoubtedly benefit both for our people and our brands”.

Stuart Quigley: MLA Young Food Innovators Course director

New News!! What else is new at the FIC?

Food Innovation Web Site: The window to our soul!

www.foodinnovationcentre.com.au is the place to go for all the latest details.Our site is constantly updated and refined to give you a better and more efficient user experience.New points of interest on our site include updated Service Cards for you to access indicative pricing by business need. Examples include, Eye tracking studies, research and development needs, consumer research studies and briefs, virtual store applications and so on.


What’s HOT? ‘Immersive Retail Customer experience tracking’….

VIVE has landed at the FIC! We now have the technology to track the entire shopper journey!
We are building methodologies to see how people react to off location displays, watch dwell time in front of fixtures, be right there when product selection is made. Was price a factor? What else is in the basket?, do related selling items and aisle configurations influence purchase decisions?

Is point of purchase media effective? Will I buy something else if my favourite product is out of stock?

All this, and more……you are only limited by your imagination as to the myriad questions this new technology can uncover. Here’s your chance to connect with us and connect with your shopper at the same time! Your next category strategy, review and execution will surely benefit.

To discuss further or come on in and don the headset……
email FIC CEO, Angeline Achariya at angeline.achariya@monash.edu

That’s it for March’s FIC Times Newsletter……thanks for reading and get in contact to help increase your odds of successful innovation soon.

Bye for now……

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