Innovation in agriculture – supporting and catalysing a translational cat’s cradle

13 May 2016, 4pm


A CSaP Policy Workshop organised in partnership with Agri-Tech East, NIAB and the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU)

Chaired by The Rt Hon Lord David Willetts


The University of Cambridge is home to an exceptional diversity of high quality research relevant to agriculture, including plant science, engineering, information technology, systems modelling, and management and business practice.

It is located in a region with superb research and translational centres highlighted in the agri-tech strategy such as NIAB, the John Innes Institute and Rothamsted Research. Moreover, the East of England region is rich in end users for agri-tech innovation, with arable farming and horticulture as major industries. This creates an extraordinary opportunity to test out the translational “cat’s cradle”.

Building on these strong foundations, what are the big opportunities to deliver on the aims of the agri-tech strategy?

The workshop seeks to explore this question in the context of the rapidly developing plans for the new Cambridge Centre for Crop Science (3CS). 3CS is a collaboration between NIAB and the University of Cambridge that will enhance research in crop sciences, promote knowledge exchange and develop resilience in food security.

Planned development of 3CS encompasses a new state of the art physical centre and laboratory, based at NIAB in Cambridge, that will serve as a hub for crop science research; and a new Professor in Crop Science who will direct the Centre, and lead a programme of international exchange and collaboration.

The workshop will be attended by policy makers from Defra and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, plant scientists, engineers and land economists, as well as representatives from the agricultural industry.

You can read our event report here.

Lord David Willetts

Resolution Foundation

Dr Tina Barsby

Cambridge Global Food Security SRI

Dr Rob Doubleday

Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Dr Patrick O'Hare

University of St Andrews

  • In news articles

    Improving the use of evidence and expertise in public policy

    Policy Fellowships provide the route through which decision makers in government and elsewhere can test and shape their thinking on issues that are of direct relevance to public policy.

  • In news articles

    Future directions for innovation in agriculture

    A CSaP Policy Workshop, chaired by David Willetts brought together senior researchers, policy makers, and agricultural sector representatives, to discuss the way forward for 'Innovation in Agriculture'.