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Chief scientist learns about Harper research

Posted 1 February 2010

Professor Crute hears about the work of research student Leticia Chico Santamarta

Harper Adams was today host to the Chief Scientist of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Professor Ian Crute, during a visit to discuss research, knowledge transfer and higher level skills development activities at Harper Adams.

The AHDB’s statutory functions encompass meat and livestock (cattle, sheep and pigs) in England; horticulture, milk and potatoes in Great Britain; and cereals and oilseeds in the UK.  The organisation sets and delivers strategies to deploy AHDB levy income via the executive boards of six sector divisions.

Professor Crute was able to meet academic staff and some of the University College’s 30 postgraduate research students conducting research and knowledge transfer, some of which is already supported by the AHDB.

During his visit, Professor Crute saw the University College’s extensive laboratory facilities and heard about research in crop research, horticulture and biomass technologies for energy production.

During a visit to the West Midlands Regional Food Academy he heard about work on invasive species and on fresh produce, and heard about the Academy’s growing portfolio of work with food businesses.

On the University College Farm, highlights included an introduction to our research and knowledge transfer activities in the Beef and Sheep Unit, the Pig Unit and the Dairy Unit.
The final stage of the tour involved a visit to the Crop and Environment Research Centre, during which Professor Crute was shown our research on strategies to combat potato cyst nematodes and nematodes in oilseed rape. 

Over lunch, the research students put on a poster display outlining their projects and discussed the latest developments in their subject area with Professor Crute.  Academic Staff were also able to address the implications of the new UK Food Research and Innovation Strategy and opportunities for developing new research proposals.

Harper Adams Principal Dr David Llewellyn said:  “Professor Crute’s visit was timely, given the rapid development of policies that will see a renewed interest in research and knowledge transfer in the agri-food sector.  We have been able to demonstrate a close fit between our applied research activities, and the staff and facilities in which we have recently invested, and the interests of the AHDB, which I hope will lead to even closer collaboration between our two organisations.”

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