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“Indeed it is estimated that 3.9 million farmers from developing countries have benefitted from these initiatives”

Every year businesses, governments and civil leaders from around the world gather in Davos, Switzerland for the world economic forum to look at key issues and trends and plan for the future. Throughout the 2015 proceedings, food and agriculture were a pivotal part of the discussions. Clearly demonstrating and acknowledging the importance of food and agriculture as we move towards the middle of the 21st Century. Things have progressed since the forum announced its new vision for agriculture back in 2009 and as a result major partnerships have emerged addressing specific food security and environmental sustainability issues around the world. Indeed it is estimated that 3.9 million farmers from developing countries have benefitted from these initiatives.

That is the big picture – now back to the UK. Agricultural technology was named as one of the ‘Eight Great Technologies’ by UK Government. In September 2013 Government departments came together to announce the Agricultural Technology Strategy and a Leadership Council was created to drive food security forward and to ensure that the excellence of the UK research base is recognised and utilised by the business community across the food chain; from farmers, equipment and chemical manufacturers and up through the supply chain to the consumer. In other words, to address issues and create a competitive Agrifood sector.

“Agricultural technology was named as one of the ‘Eight Great Technologies’ by UK Government”

In any sector, a major challenge has always been to ensure that the expertise and innovation generated from the research base is readily translated into innovative products and services. This is where innovate UK funding is important for proof of concept and developmental studies and also where financial providers must take innovation towards the stage where it can yield commercial benefit.

The agricultural technology organisation in UKTI, of which I am CEO is part of this picture with our team of industry experts, academics and civil servants we are charged with driving investment and trade in all sub-sectors of agricultural technologies focussing on those where the evidence base demonstrates that the UK has a clear research lead and helping to ensure that the academic excellence can lead to commercial benefit and a sustainable food supply. This is not an easy task and we work in partnership with many other groups and organisations that play a major role.

“We are delighted that NCUB has utilised its considerable experience and success in uniting higher education and industry to address the Food Economy”

One such organisation is NCUB. We are delighted that NCUB has utilised its considerable experience and success in uniting higher education and industry to address the Food Economy. NCUB will launch its Food Economy Task Force report on 9th March and many players across the food supply chain await its conclusions with great anticipation.

Since 2008 Janet had been a specialist advisor to UKTI currently leading the agri tech organisation which is responsible for delivery of inward investment into the UK and for developing trade from businesses in the sector.

Food Economy Task Force Reports: