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FaBA’s $20M opportunity to unlock Australia’s food & beverage innovation 

With the launch of its $20 million second investment round, Australia’s Food and Beverage Accelerator, FaBA is seeking new partners and projects with ‘strong innovation potential’ to drive Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing sector forward.

"There's a key opportunity for Australia to grow its sovereign manufacturing onshore, so that we're exporting more and more highly attractive consumer value-added food,” explained Dr Chris Downs, Founding Director of Australia’s Food and Beverage Accelerator (FaBA).  
The food and beverage sector is Australia’s largest manufacturing industry, worth more than $132 billion, accounting for 32% of total manufacturing turnover, and employing more than 270,000 people. Yet, the advent of COVID-19, rising climate volatility and geopolitical tensions, have underscored the imperative for more resilient and innovative food systems. 

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The launch of FaBA’s $20 million second investment round, is a prime opportunity for forward-thinking startups, SMEs or large companies with innovative solutions that can deliver ‘really clear benefits’ to Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing sector.  

Expressions of Interest opened on Monday, 14 August 2023, and close on Friday, 22 September 2023, followed by competitive evaluation before an investment committee, with successful projects contracted towards the end of 2023. International companies will be considered if there’s clear evidence of benefit for Australia’s food and beverage sector.  

Submit Expressions of Interest for FaBA’s $20M second round investment opportunity here. ^

L-R: Dr Chris Downs – Director, Food and Beverage Accelerator (FaBA); Professor Deborah Terry AO - Vice Chancellor and President, University of Queensland, Senator Chisholm, and Dr Peter Riddles AM - Chair, FaBA Board. Credit: Marc Grimwade

With a hefty $160 million fund, FaBA is geared to propel Australia's food and beverage sector into a dynamic era of growth and transformation. Established under the Australian Government Department of Education’s Trailblazer Universities Program – to increase the commercialisation of university research with industry – FaBA is hosted by The University of Queensland (UQ) with research partners the Queensland University of Technology, University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) and UniQuest.  

FaBA is seeking to co-invest in:​

  • New projects with companies new to FaBA​
  • Step-change innovations​
  • Innovations that a company is not able to do themselves​ 

FaBA’s co-investment must:​

  • Deliver benefit to Australia
  • Develop new food and beverage products
  • Create new food and beverage ingredients
  • Build new skills and capabilities for industry 

“We want to do science at startup speed with industry and we consider ourselves as formidable,” in the way that FaBA invests and achieves impact through accelerated commercialisation.  

“Our aim is to be fast, future-focused, and solve industry’s future challenges.” 

FaBA aims to contribute to doubling the value of Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing sector by 2035, through focusing on smart production and new ingredients, creating innovative foods and beverages and generating thousands of new jobs. 
This vision deeply aligns with the national interest, explained Chris, leveraging the abundant raw materials from the agricultural sector, and translating them into innovative, sustainable, and trusted products. 
"Our success is measured by new food products in the marketplace, new beverage products, new ingredients, and new skills that are developed both in the university sector, but especially with industry." 

Dr Chris Downs – Director, Food and Beverage Accelerator (FaBA) at the FaBA launch. Credit: Marc Grimwade

Co-investment partnerships are mobilised through FaBA, industry and the applicant, with tailored approaches to fit each project, ranging from months to years, forming a diverse portfolio, aligned to FaBA’s objectives.   
“It's a very collaborative approach in terms of value and in terms of benefit from the investment and the return expectations.”  

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Participants will work closely with FaBA, explained Chris, and its three university partners which each bring distinct strengths.  
Generally, all new intellectual property will be owned by the company involved. “Our investment doesn't dilute the equity position of the company, which is a very different approach.” 
Participants will also gain access to a wealth of expertise, resources, insights, and training, through FaBA’s training centre, working with university researchers in university labs or in industry settings, working on projects involving new formulations or product development.    

Credit: Megan Pope

Shaping a sustainable food system

In a world where consumer preferences and global dynamics are constantly evolving, FaBA embraces the challenge of staying ahead of the curve.  
“We have a very strong focus on consumer and market drivers to ensure we're delivering what consumers and market and food companies need.”  
By harnessing its consumer insights experts, FaBA surveys international food trends and drivers, to provide informative data for participating companies, and Australia.   

RELATED: Watch the FaBA’s Second Investment Round webinar here.
“We want to invest in great innovation projects with industry from across Australia that are delivering against those drivers: healthy, sustainably produced products, focused on value addition for consumers both in Australia and export markets.”  
Great examples of Australian companies that participated in FaBA’s first investment round are V2 Foods, All G Foods, Nourish Ingredients, Gelita and Eden Brew. Each highlight FaBA’s adaptability to work with diverse companies and applications. 
"I love working with talented researchers and innovation leaders in industry and getting a joined-up conversation going between two groups of people that have so much to offer each other." 

Submit Expressions of Interest by Friday, 22 September 2023 for FaBA’s $20M second round investment opportunity here. ^



^This investment opportunity is only for professional and sophisticated investors as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The content of this opportunity is intended for use by persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments and must not be acted or relied upon by any other person including, without limitation, retail clients.

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