Food Chiasma 2015 – #FoodFutures

20 - 22 October 2015

£20k Innovation Event – ‘#FoodFutures – The Future of Culinary Experience’

Date / Time: 3pm, Tuesday 20th October 2015 –5pm, Thursday 22nd October 2015

Location/Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton, Dunblane Hydro Perth Road, Dunblane, FK15 0HG

Cost:  2.5 days committed engagement (food and accommodation provided, and reasonable travel expenses reimbursed).

Closing date for applications:    4pm, Monday 21st September

#FoodFutures – The Future of Culinary Experience’

Food is a necessity. Food is also an expression of our cultures and individuality. Food innovation is currently invested in variety of different areas from 3D printing – what shape, texture, density would you like your chocolate truffle? – to craft sodas made with hibiscus and clove to Scottish bakery and farming co-operatives working together to increase profits and improve standards.

The aim of this Chiasma was to generate new ideas for the Food and Drink sector, offering transformative approaches to build new market opportunities. During the Chiasma, successful applicants formed teams and made iterative pitches of their solutions to an expert panel. Teams worked together to evolve their ideas and their final pitches enabled the resultant IP to be captured and considered for funding and development.

Design in Action allocates up to £20,000 per prototype and a range of support services for ideas generated from Chiasma, which will be awarded by an expert funding panel 6 weeks after the event.

Chiasma is an invaluable introduction to design with a unique innovation model, offering an exciting opportunity to network and think out of the box, away from the constraints of everyday working. It may also be the start of a whole new business future.


Consumption is a new activism. Only recently have we read news stories about Morrisons supermarkets introducing a new milk brand, which supports dairy farmers and encourages fair pay for their products ( and, should the move be successful, many others are likely to follow suit. Political and ecological issues shape alternative production and consumption. Cutting edge technologies merge with established food production philosophies resulting in highly nutritious food. We push technological boundaries and conventional recipes change to reduce fat, sugar, refined carbs and salt. Food innovation is at work, generating solutions and services to transform food systems with new flavours and aesthetics (beetroot yoghurt, kale ice-lollies and insect bars, for example).

We are increasingly concerned about the relationship between the different actors that are involved in production and retailing of food. We develop alternative services such as edible QR codes, food tattoos and smart gadgets to increase confidence amongst consumers in food products. Better understanding of the food system enables us to make better and more interesting choices.

This residential Chiasma event provided an opportunity for food producers, businesses and retailers to converge with designers and academics to identify and create solutions in this new food era. Given the breadth of the changes, this Chiasma successfully unpacked a range of issues, exploring areas such as: –

  • NEW TECHNOLOGIES – We have now started to hear about molecular gastronomy with space-aged technology and agricultural waste also mentioned in the same breath. For instance will 3D printed exquisite food sculptures become the most sustainable food production and consumption?
  • OLD SOLUTIONS – are there things that we have eaten, drunk, cooked or grown in the past which can become the ‘new’ innovation? Or is it about more local production and how can that be networked in interesting ways?
  • PURCHASING IGNORANCE – We are losing cooking knowhow, and an appreciation of the diversity of tastes from our communities. Modern life is complex and everyday living can be stressful, so how can food provide a space and place to enhance wellbeing? What are the new business ideas that are good for our body, soul, society and environment?

These issues and trends present opportunities for change and a challenge. Chiasma enabled food producers, businesses, retailers, designers and academics to engage in disruptive thinking to create innovative new ideas with commercial potential.

Key speakers at the Chiasma included Nick Nairn, a celebrity chef who became the youngest Scottish chef to win a Michelin star in the early 1990s. His cookery schools not only inspire more people into the kitchen by giving them the necessary skills and knowhow but, with a successful business model, he has also made a significant contribution to healthy cooking and eating in Scotland.

Following the Chiasma, teams have been encouraged to continue to work together and apply for funding of up to £20,000 to develop the idea to market. Following attendance at the 2013 Food Chiasma, new start-up company Beer52 ( received funding and support from Design in Action and, through the innovative use of design and further external investment, the company has now become the World’s No. 1 Craft Beer Club.

See the ‘Business Opportunity’ section of the Call for Participants/Terms of Engagement document for more details.

To view photographs for this Chiasma. All photographs by Lindsay Perth, Lippi Photography:

This Chiasma is now closed. If you have any questions related to this Chiasma, please contact us.