World Food Prize and Borlaug Dialogue events welcome N8 AgriFood


A global food security conference attracting more than 1,200 people from 65 countries saw N8 AgriFood showcase its expertise after the programme was invited to host its own supporting event for this year’s Borlaug Dialogue.

The Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, known informally as the Borlaug Dialogue, was held in Iowa, in the United States, last week and saw international leaders from across the food and agriculture sectors come together to discuss the critical issues facing global food security.

As part of the event’s sideline programme, N8 AgriFood hosted a session formed around the theme of how global research collaboration and engagement can address international development challenges.

N8 AgriFood received an invitation to host the seminar from the UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) Chicago Office in response to the two organisations having previously worked together at last year’s Borlaug Dialogue.

Taking part in this year’s event allowed N8 AgriFood to continue and build on collaborations established as part of the programme’s strategic activity in the US, especially contacts with the midwest institutions, including MSU, Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota, that had developed from 2017’s event.

Kyle Dolan, SIN’s Head of Science & Innovation with the British Consulate-General Chicago, said: “The UK Science & Innovation Network is grateful to the N8 AgriFood Resilience Research Programme for helping to make our Borlaug Dialogue event a success, highlighting their work as a terrific example of the UK’s world-class strengths in agri-food research and innovation with global impact.

“We are delighted that N8 AgriFood have uncovered opportunities to partner with top universities in the US Midwest on tackling issues of global food and nutrition security and we look forward to supporting and nurturing these collaborations.”

Entitled “Mind the Gap” the session was chaired by N8 AgirFood theme lead Professor Steve Banwart, of the University of Leeds, and featured a line-up of speakers exploring how to bridge the gap between research and practical innovation with impact.

Professor Steve Banwart, left, said: “The contribution of the N8 universities agrifood resilience research programme in the Borlaug Dialogue symposium is a great opportunity to showcase some of the very best of N8 research and innovation talent and partnerships, at a truly global event.

“Collaboration with the UK Chicago Consulate Science and Innovation Network office is creating new partnerships and opportunities in the USA for N8 research and its application to solve global challenges of food and nutrition security.”

The panel line-up for N8 AgriFood’s event featured Steve Besford, AFRICAP-GCRF – University of Leeds; Gary Burniske, Purdue University; Paul McNamara, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; David Tschirley, Michigan State University, with the session opened by the Consul General in Chicago.

In addition to hosting the event, SIN also invited N8 AgriFood and all of its panelists to attend the World Food Prize Ceremony, held every year as part of the Borlaug Dialgue, where two UK laureates, David Nabbaro and Lawrence Haddad, were presented this year.