13 May 2016 08:39

Lancaster University is taking part in a £16 million research partnership which aims to provide the world with a safe supply of food from farm to fork.

Key experts from industry, government and academia will be at the N8 AgriFood Launch - 21-22 June 2016 University Place, Manchester UK - which brings together food experts industry and academia to tackle global food security.

The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration of the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. N8 AgriFood brings together researchers working to tackle food security, and will facilitate collaborations between those working in the food sector.

More than 50 speakers, from the likes of Sainsbury’s, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Co-Operative Group, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) HSBC and the National Farmers’ Union will attend the event.

Working with partners along the whole supply chain the N8’s ambition is to ensure the resilient supply of safe, nutritious food around the world.

Keynote speakers include Professor Ian Noble, Senior R&D Director at PepsiCo; Professor Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser for Defra; Tim Benton, UK Champion for Global Food Security; Keith Gill, food industry pioneer and founder of Phileas Fogg crisps and Dr Emma Hennessey, Head of the Science and Innovation team at the Foreign Office.

Together, the N8 universities have:

  • More than 370 researchers working in agri-food resilience
  • A portfolio of £269 million of agri-food research funding
  • The greatest concentration of academics engaged in agri-food research in the UK
  • Significant research facilities including six research farms, extensive glass-houses, workshops and laboratories.

Professor John Quinton, Research director at the Lancaster Environment Centre and N8 member, said: “Faced with a global population approaching seven billion and a changing climate with variable extremes, there has never been a better time to pull together our research expertise so we can make quicker advances. Working with Government and industry we hope N8Agrifood can have a real impact on safe reliable food supply in the UK and beyond.”