N8 AgriFood launch event kick starts research on solving world food problems

The N8 AgriFood programme has been officially launched with a host of high level academic and business speakers.

The launch event, held at The Core, Science Central in Newcastle, was attended by more than 140 academics and stakeholders who exchanged ideas on how the UK’s businesses and universities can work together to answer some of the world’s most pressing food and agriculture related issues.

Topics spanned the full “field to fork” spectrum, including crop, soil and livestock research, retail, distribution and logistics, consumption and public health. University experts, Knowledge Transfer Network representatives, business heads and partners in some of the

The goal of N8 AgriFood is to build a single unified programme that is both multidisciplinary and multi-institutional, and provides a single, recognised point of access for NGOs, industry and policy makers to over 300 of the UK’s AgriFood academics and experts.

Opened by Professor Nick Wright, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Newcastle University and Chair of the N8 Executive Management Group, the speaking programme featured a keynote address by Tim Finnegan, Director of Research and Development for Quorn Foods. In his address he discussed the role alternative sources of protein could play in meeting the challenges of climate change, population growth and land use, echoing calls recently made by the former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for people to eat less meat.

The event featured breakout sessions to help plan the next five years of N8 AgriFood, building interdisciplinary working and partnerships with industry, government, private sector, NGO and the third sector.

The day was closed by Professor Deborah Smith, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of York, who host the programme.

Professor Smith said: “The world is under pressure from the growing challenges of increased land use, climate change and over population. These challenges also cause ripples that spread throughout the realms of public health, supply chains and retail to name just a few. It is essential that academia, business and other relevant partners come together to develop solutions and answers to these problems as they are at the heart of the world’s future. The UK has the knowledge and expertise to lead the way on this, which is exactly what N8 AgriFood is working to bring together.”

To find out more please visit the N8 AgriFood website or email info@N8research.org.uk

Tim Finnigan Talk_1

Tim Finnegan – Quorn Foods