Innovation has a major role to play in making agriculture more sustainable, whether that be through utilising technology to enhance efficiencies on the farm or reinventing how and where we farm through urban agriculture. Our work seeks to encourage evidence-backed policy action that will support further advancement in agricultural innovation.

Our Impacts and Outputs

Plant growing in soil

Net Zero North: Grow Smarter

The N8 universities are working together on the Net Zero North project, which includes the Grow Smarter initiative which aims to  deliver a thriving, innovative, and integrated net-zero landscape of the future.

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Robots in field of crops

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology briefing – Future of agricultural technologies

N8 AgriFood academics from the Universities of Leeds and Manchester presented at a closed briefing exploring the future of agricultural technologies at the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST).

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Drone hovering over field

Agricultural Robotics: The Future of Robotic Agriculture

N8 AgriFood academic Prof Bruce Grieve from the University of Manchester co-authored this white paper for the UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Network as part of UK Robotics Week 2018.

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How can policy support agrifood innovation?

During the launch of the Policy Hub, Professor Jess Davies and Dr Ruth Alcock from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University hosted a webinar entitled ‘How can policy support agrifood innovation?’. The webinar focused on how policy can support sustainable agrifood innovations, seeking views and discussion across disciplines and sectors. They were joined by a panel of speakers who shared their views on the policy challenges and opportunities for supporting innovation in their area of the agrifood system.

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Vertical farm using pipes

Rurban Revolution

‘Rurban Revolution’ is an interdisciplinary project focused on the transformative potential of urban greening and food growing. Led by Professor Jess Davies at Lancaster University, it brings together academics with expertise in ecosystems, psychology, plant sciences and supply chains from Lancaster and Liverpool University, along with Cranfield University. They are building an interdisciplinary evidence base on how growing in urban green spaces potentially influences health and sustainable diets, food production and ecosystem service delivery. The latest paper to come out of the project was “Is urban growing of fruit and vegetables associated with better diet quality and what mediates this relationship? Evidence from a cross-sectional survey”. Published in Appetite, it discusses the relationships between urban agriculture and diet.

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