Welcome to the course

Welcome to ‘Innovation: The Food Industry’. Over the next two weeks you’re going to be exploring innovation in the particular context of the food industry.

We’ve created this course in partnership with Marks & Spencer, who, like us here at the University of Leeds, firmly believe that innovation is at the heart of progress in business.

This course is just one of a series designed by the University of Leeds for school-based learners and their teachers. As this is an open course, we also welcome other learners: as you will have seen from the welcome area, we have a diverse cohort signed up. However, it is important to recognize that this course, and the content and activities within it, has been specifically designed to help those studying at school or college make the transition to studying at university or the work place.

It is anticipated that it will take around two hours to complete the tasks during the week. This includes watching the videos, joining discussions, reading articles and completing any exercises. If you have more time, we have also provided some links to additional reading and resources.

We have provided a course map to help you navigate your journey through the course: click on the image to access, or you can download the map from the Downloads section below.

An image showing the course map - find the full version in the 'Downloads' section below

In the first week you’ll consider and discuss with your fellow learners what innovations have influenced the food industry. We then introduce some of the drivers and challenges faced by innovators. This is illustrated by a case study from Marks & Spencer, showing how innovation is driven to bring consumers new and better products.

In week two we move on to look at crowdsourcing and open innovation. You’ll have the opportunity to be part of a crowdsourcing activity to try and find an innovative solution to a food related ‘wicked problem’.

We then move from food to drink: we consider technology and innovation, with a case study from the University of Leeds looking at innovation in brewing.

There’s plenty to keep you busy and interested, and we really hope you enjoy the course and the activities that we’ve planned.

Have your say:

Please use the comments to share your reasons for joining this course. Please also let us know where you are from; this course is open to learners world-wide.

Take some time to read the posts from other learners. If you come across someone with similar interests to you, you may choose to ‘follow’ them; you can then filter the discussions to only view the comments from those you are following. This can help to make discussions easier to manage.

Next steps

Before moving on we would like to extend our thanks to the staff from the M&S Company Archive and Head Office who have been instrumental in helping to design and develop this course. Please note that these course materials and videos were first prepared in 2014.

When you are ready to move on, click ‘Mark as complete’. You can monitor your progress through the course by selecting ‘Progress’ at the top of the page. This will show you the steps you have completed.

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This article is from the free online course:

Innovation: the Food Industry

University of Leeds