Digital Technologies for Improving Productivity in Food Manufacturing

Digital Technologies for Improving Productivity in Food Manufacturing

9:30am Tuesday 2nd Apr 2019, Loughborough University London

A seminar to learn from companies and technology providers on best practices to successfully implement current digital technologies into food manufacturing and to discuss policy and regulatory challenges to the uptake of such technologies within the UK Food Sector.

Description: The rapid growth of digital technologies has made a significant impact on modern manufacturing, including the food sector. The Centre for SMART in collaboration with Internet of Food Things (IoFT) Network Plus brings together multi-disciplinary R&D teams to share best practices for incorporating and capitalising on such technologies and to establish a policy platform for progressing towards a more sustainable resilient and productive UK food supply chain.

Purpose: Attendees will be able to engage with senior industrialists, policy makers, and technology providers to discuss successes and barriers in taking advantage of new opportunities brought forward by the advent of the fourth industrial revolution (industry 4.0) within the food manufacturing industry; and to learn about new tools that are helping companies become more financially competitive. Attendees will also participate in an open discussion to enable the successful implementation of modern advanced digitlised tools in food manufacturing.

Outcome: To generate a summary document that highlights the identified benefits and opportunities as well as barriers to the use of modern digital technologies, in support of smart resource-efficient production, in building resilient business models across the food supply chain, and in incorporating consumer requirements and/or demands in future food pdocut development.


9:30 -10:00 : Coffee and registration

10:00 - 10:15 : Welcome and introduction

10:15 - 11:15 : SMART real-time resource-efficient production

11:15 - 12:15 : Digitalised tools to build a resilient and productive food supply chain

12:15 - 13:00 : Lunch

13:00 - 14:00 : Digital technologies to serve and retain consumers

14:00 - 14:25 : Capturing lessons learned

14:25 - 14:30 : Closing remarks

Hosted by,

The Centre for SMART

IoFT Network Plus ( brings together computer scientists, chemists, and economist to investigate how artificial intelligence, data analytics and emergin technologies can enhance the digitalisation of the UK food supply chain.

Learn more and register to attend,

Expert panel discussion on reducing the impact of food waste

Expert panel discussion on reducing the impact of food waste

6:15pm Friday 12th Oct 2018, Edward Herbert Building, Room J.0.01, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU

In the UK, consumers throw away £700 worth of food per family each year, which is not only a needless cost but also a source of significant negative environmental and social impacts (UK Government, 2017). Loughborough has taken a leading role in addressing this issue, with a number of local charities, (e.g. Utilise Social Café) and Loughborough University working to reduce both the occurrence of food waste and its negative impacts. However, the scale of the food waste challenge means that it cannot be tackled by researchers or local community groups alone.

In response, this unique event brings together representatives from local businesses, policy makers, residents and researchers to enable them to voice their experience and concerns regarding food waste, identify what the latest challenges and enablers are and to begin the process of developing successful interventions.

Manufacturing Food Futures Conference 2018

Manufacturing Food Futures Conference 2018

8:30am Monday 26th Mar 2018, Sutton Bonington Campus of University of Nottingham LE12 5RD

Stay up-to-date with the latest research including upgrading materials and valorization techniques, novel processing technologies and developments in distributed manufacture, and new approaches to sustainability and waste reduction.

This free* 2 -day event will bring together industry and academic experts to discuss challenges and showcase the latest innovations in the sector.
There is a Conference Dinner taking place in the Kegworth Hotel on 26th March, 7pm at a cost of £32.72 + £2.29 fee which can be booked when registering for the Conference.

Poster abstracts are now invited on the following topics:

- Food materials and structure

- Upgrading materials and valorisation

- Sustainable food production


Systems Change Thinking - Creating Value from Unavoidable Food Supply Chain Wastes

Systems Change Thinking - Creating Value from Unavoidable Food Supply Chain Wastes

8:30am Tuesday 16th Jan 2018, Gateway Building (B01,02) Sutton Bonington Campus The University of Nottingham LE12 5RD

The Centre for SMART will be a part of this free 'Systems Change' event hightlighting our research into unavoidable food supply chain wastes. Please register on Eventbrite to attend:

Systems Change Thinking - Creating Value from Unavoidable Food Supply Chain Wastes

This is a free, one-day, event for all stakeholders interested in understanding the chemical and environmental benefits of utilising unavoidable food supply chain wastes.

Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, employing approximately 400,000 people with a turnover of £76 billion. Food manufacturing is a complex process that is in the main linear- rather than circular-thinking. A staggering 9.9 million tonnes of food waste and food by-products are generated per year in the food industry alone, of which 56% is considered unavoidable. Unavoidable food supply chain wastes (UFSCW) lost after harvest and along the distribution and consumption chain have a dual negative environmental impact: undue pressure on natural resources and ecosystem services and pollution through food discards. However, current strategies for dealing with UFSCW are rudimentary and of low value: these include waste to energy (including incineration and anaerobic digestion), and where possible; animal feed and bedding; compositing; ploughing back in to soil; and, least preferable, landfill.

This event explores UFSCW as a unique bioresource: a treasure trove of unexploited, bio-based materials and chemicals, with a range of potential commercial applications.

This will be an excellent opportunity to interact and connect with academics and industrial colleagues

Poster presentations are open for submission. Deadline 10th December. Please contact for more detail.

If you would like to sponsor or exhibit at the event, please contact for more detail.

Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition 2017

Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition 2017

9:00am Tuesday 7th Nov 2017, Ricoh Arena, Coventry

The Centre for SMART will be at the 4th Annual Sustainable Food and Beverage Conference to be held November 7th 2017 in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

This event aims to bring together key stakeholders and regulatory bodies from food and beverage manufacturers, food retailers, food service companies, the agriculture industry, ingredient manufacturers, plus key suppliers of energy, water, engineering, packaging, supply chain, logistics, emissions reduction and waste to energy technology and services.

See us on the exhibitors list here:

We will have a stand and a presentation on behalf of the Centre by Dr Elliot Woolley.

Registration is free.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Nottingham SciBar: How to Feed 9 Billion People in 2050?

Nottingham SciBar: How to Feed 9 Billion People in 2050?

7:30pm Wednesday 25th Oct 2017, Vat and Fiddle Queens Bridge Road NG2 1NB, Nottingham

Professor Shahin Rahimifard will be speaking at the Nottingham SciBar event on 25 October 2017 on the topic of the challenges that food manufacturers face in feeding our growing population. The event will take place at the Vat and Fiddle on Queens Bridge Road in Nottingham.

To reserve your place, please visti the Nottingham SciBar website here

‘How to do more with less?’ is a question many modern manufacturers are asking themselves. This is particularly true in the food sector due to concerns about long term availability and security of food resources. We need to change the way we grow, manufacture and consume food products to mitigate against the loss of arable land linked to climate change, the rapidly increasing global population, and changes in demand and dietary behaviours both within developed and developing countries. The unique attributes of food products such as the need for fresh perishable ingredients, health risks associated with inappropriate production environment, stringent storage and distributions requirements together with relatively short post-production shelf-life makes them considerably different to other manufactured goods. 
Shahin Rahimifard will look at a number of key challenges facing modern food manufacturers, including improved productivity using fewer resources, making more food with ingredients extracted from food waste, localisation of food production, and utilisation of new sustainable sources of nutrition for provision of customised food products. 
PPMA Show 2017

PPMA Show 2017

9:00am Tuesday 26th Sep 2017, NEC, Birmingham, UK


Dr Elliot Woolley of the Centre for SMART will be presenting next week at the Process and Packaging Machinery (PPMA) show to be held 26 - 28 September at the NEC in Birmingham on the topic of 'Energy efficient production: uncover the potential of waste'. His session will take place at 11:30 am on Thursday 28th September.

Leading up to this even, Process & Control magazine interviewed Elliot about waste heat recovery. The full interview can be found here:

It is not too late to register for this event, and registration is free. Just visit and we hope to see you there.

Manufacturing Food Futures Conference 2017

Manufacturing Food Futures Conference 2017

10:00am Thursday 30th Mar 2017, Birmingham, UK

Registration is now open for the

EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food

Manufacturing Food Futures Conference 2017 Birmingham UK

This free* 2-day event will bring together industry and academic experts to discuss challenges and showcase the latest innovations in the sector. Tickets will grant you access to the full conference programme, poster show and exhibitor area.

*On Thursday 30th March there will be a Conference Dinner for an additional fee of £30 per delegate. All delegates are asked to arrange their own accommodation.

2 day delegate ticket is FREE / Evening meal ticket £30 / Exhibition option is £500

Follow this link to register:



Localising Food Systems: The food-energy-water nexus issues of re-distributed manufacturing conference

Localising Food Systems: The food-energy-water nexus issues of re-distributed manufacturing conference

9:30am Wednesday 7th Dec 2016, The Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, University of Oxford, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

The Localising Food Systems conference is intended to stimulate exchange and debate about re-distributed food manufacturing, food systems, and food-energy-water nexus issues at enterprise, local and regional levels. This event will be truly multidisciplinary, with contributions from engineering, agriculture, natural sciences and social sciences. It will also encourage debate and share perspectives with business, local authorities and stakeholders in the food, energy or water sectors.

The Centre for SMART will participate with posters and the unveiling of a re-distributed food manufacturing report written by SMART researcher Pedro Gimenez.

For more information visit


Food Matters Live...

Food Matters Live...

10:00am Tuesday 22nd Nov 2016, ExCeL London

Food Matters Live is the UK's only cross-sector event bringing together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government and those working in nutrition, to enable collaboration and innovation to support a sustainable food landscape for the future.

Members of the Centre for SMART will be in attendance at the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food stand and look forward to meeting you.

We hope to see you there: 22-24 November at Food Matters Live, ExCeL London.

Capturing Sustainable Value - Centre for Industrial Sustainability Annual Conference 2016

Capturing Sustainable Value - Centre for Industrial Sustainability Annual Conference 2016

9:00am Thursday 7th Jul 2016, Churchill College, Cambridge

Share your passion for sustainability this July at our 5th annual conference. Meet future collaborators, thought leaders, inventive researchers and industry forerunners. Connect, discuss and debate at our exhibition, workshops, and pop-ups.

Information including the conference programme can be found here.  Register here.

This year the theme is Capturing Sustainable Value with Keynotes:

Gunter Pauli – Entrepreneur and author of The Blue Economy

Mike Barry - Director and initiator of M&S Plan A

Brian Holliday - MD of Siemens Digital Factory

Andy Wood - CEO of Adnams Plc

Other speakers from

Tata Steel, Altro, Extremis, iema, KTN, Business.Cubed, University of Cambridge, Cranfield University, Loughborough University, Imperial College, De Montfort University and more.


What will you take away?

·        Business views on implementing circularity

·        Tools to capture new value in your business network

·        Demystified view of disruptive business models

·        Insights on innovative sustainability in MNCs to Start-ups

·        Opportunities to learn from and participate in the latest doctoral research

·        New Collaborators (ask us about partnerships that have formed as a result of our conference)

·        Renewed energy and enthusiasm!

‘This conference has become the highlight of my year. The work being presented is cutting edge and the keynotes are truly inspiring- seldom do I feel more passionate about sustainability than when I reflect on the conference material',
Peter Jones, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment - Delegate at our 2015 conference.

To book your place to attend the conference, please visit the ONLINE SHOP.  Just £270 for the 2-day conference on 7-8 July and dinner on 7 July at Churchill College, Cambridge. Student and one-day discounts available.


Additional Events

High-Value Business Models Symposium on the afternoon of 6 July at the IfM, Cambridge.  Book your place when registering for the conference.  If not attending the conference, book through the IfM Shop here.

More information about the symposium here.


Pre-conference networking dinner and drinks at Madingley Hall on the evening of 6 July 2016. Book your place when registering for the conference. 


We hope to see you in July!

Seminar at Middle East Technical University - Northern Cyprus Campus

Seminar at Middle East Technical University - Northern Cyprus Campus

12:40pm Friday 29th Apr 2016, Cyprus

As part of the Sustainable Environment and Energy Systems (SEES) Graduate Program Spring 2016 Seminar Series at the Middle East Technical University - Northern Cyprus Campus, Professor Shahin Rahimifard will speak about waste management.
The Seminar Series overview is here.
Future Footwear Materials Conference

Future Footwear Materials Conference

9:30am Wednesday 20th Apr 2016, SLEM Waalwijk in The Netherlands

At the SLEM Future Footwear Materials Conference internationally renowned speakers will show and talk about how to find sustainable resources, the circular economy, bioprinting, smart textiles, new ways of treating and making leather, and much more. 

Professor Shahin Rahimifard of the Centre for SMART will speak about “A system approach to establishing a Circular Economy in Footwear Industry”.

The worldwide consumption of footwear is estimated to be in excess of 20 billion pairs of shoes per year, most of which are currently being disposed of in landfill sites around the globe. Producer-responsibility issues and forthcoming environmental legislations are expected to test the way the footwear industry deals with its end-of-life (EoL) products. Material recycling of footwear products is however a formidable problem with most modern shoes containing a complex mixture of leather, rubber, textile, polymers and metallic materials. The long-term challenges in establishing a system approach to realisation of a Circular Economy for footwear products will be discussed in his presentation.

Visit the Conference website.

Annual Conference - EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food

Annual Conference - EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food

9:30am Wednesday 23rd Mar 2016, Loughborough University - Holywell Park Conference Centre

Catch a glimpse of the fascinating future of food at the annual EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing (CIM) in Food conference being held this year at Loughborough University 23-24 March 2016.
Registration is open to the public!
The conference includes talks by guest speakers from various sectors of the food industry, as well as presentations of the cutting edge research being undertaken at the University of Nottigham, University of Birmingham, and Loughborough University. Centre for SMART members of this Food CIM will have presentations on both days.
What can you look forward to?
The poster presentation will include interactive exhibits such as a functional rig for the monitoring and management of water consumption in food production, interactive displays of consumer behaviour, strategies for reducing food waste, and more.
Confernence talks range from novel uses of food ingredients and new processing technologies to manufacturing for healthy diets and lifestyles and sustainable supply chain and waste management. 
Whether you are an industry professional or simply interested in learning more about the food we will eat, you are sure to find something to engage you.
For more information and the complete programme, click here.
We look forward to seeing you there!
SMART Footwear Recycling Guest Lecture at De Montfort University

SMART Footwear Recycling Guest Lecture at De Montfort University

9:00am Wednesday 9th Mar 2016, De Montfort University

SMART researcher Miss Tegan Pringle will be giving a guest lecture to students in the BA programme in Footwear Design at De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester on Wednesday 9th March 2016.

Footwear Design at DMU covers the unique and complex shoe design process emphasising the crucial relationship between design and manufacture and the needs of the footwear industry.
Tegan is a  2nd year doctoral researcher in the area of zero waste in manufacturing with direct studies on footwear and leather recycling. 
Your Energy Futures

Your Energy Futures

9:00am Wednesday 2nd Mar 2016, Solihull & Birmingham

Members of the Centre for SMART will be running the Your Business Future workshop as part of the Your Green Future Event at Solihull College Conference Centre on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd March 2016. 
The event is designed to engage school students with a more sustainable economy, and their potential role in creating this through their career choices. It is open to schools across Solihull and Birmingham and free! You can sign up using the online form on the website.
At the event students will have the opportunity to work alongside over 25 businesses. Together they will address a series of creative challenges. Students will also spend time in the Career Pathways Exhibition. 
The Your Business Future workshop of the SMART team will engage students’ creative side in developing a retail item of today (e.g. food, fashion, cosmetics) into a product fit for 2025.  Working with successful businesses the teams will future proof their product - overcoming shifting consumer trends, resource scarcity, increased regulations and anything else the changing climate may throw at them. Each team will enter their product into the Future Retail Awards, and vote for the most sustainable entry, in terms of people, planet and profit. 
Overall, students will gain an understanding of the choices, the opportunities and the challenges of putting environmental, social and economic sustainability at the core of business.