How can policy support agrifood innovation?

Tech can help us develop a sustainable food system

As part of the launch of our Food Systems Policy Hub, Professor Jess Davies and Dr Ruth Alcock from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University, held a webinar on Friday 13 November considering how policy can support sustainable 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. This was followed by a panel question and answer session.

The speakers included:

  • Dr Alona Armstrong, Lancaster University – Food and Energy: Embedding agricultural and environmental benefits in renewable energy landscapes.
  • Dr Jason Moore, Director of Research and Product Development at Arid Agritech – Effective policy drivers for navigating the ‘messy middle’.
  • David Hall, NFU Regional Director for the North West – A producers perspective: Why policy must deliver benefit on the ground.

Didn’t catch the webinar? Watch the recording…

Find out more…

Policy impact

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.

Read the report
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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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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Research and policy briefs

Solar panels with city in the background

Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University

Learn more about the various innovation projects N8 AgriFood academics at Lancaster University have been involved with on the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation’s YouTube channel.

Watch the videos
Rows of solar panels

SPIES project – Solar park impacts on ecosystem services

The SPIES project has developed a decision support tool for regulatory and industry use that promotes ground-mounted solar parks that are deployed and managed for maximum ecosystem benefits.

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Solar panels with sun in the background

Managing solar parks for nature

Climate change and ecosystem degradation are two of the biggest challenges we face. This policy brief explores how solar parks offer an untapped opportunity to help restore the UK’s ecosystems, as well as providing low carbon energy for all to enjoy.

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Corn in sunshine

Crop & Soil Innovation Pipeline

N8 AgriFood’s innovation platform is an online portal where partners can access the expertise and facilities of the N8 universities. It integrates research ranging from fundamental crop and soil science to state of the art farms to generate transformative solutions for the agrifood sector.

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Vertical farm using pipes

Rurban Revolution

Prof Jess Davies, University of Lancaster is the PI for this two-year interdisciplinary project. Collaborating with the University of Liverpool, the project focuses on the transformative potential of urban greening and food growing.

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Crops in vertical farm

Protected Environment ‘Root-to-Shoot’ Sensing & Control

The Universities of Sheffield and Manchester and sensors company, Fotenix Ltd, are implementing Active Multispectral Imaging (A-MSI) as a quantified control measure in vertical farming, field robotics and portable plant diagnostics.

Watch a video
Vegetables growing in hydroponic farm

What’s next for the UK’s controlled environment agriculture’ sector?

This White paper explores what is next for agricultural sustainability which is being challenged by resource and labour pressures, ever increasing consumer demand and the consequences of anthropogenic climate change.

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Rooftop garden overlooking city

A vision for urban agriculture in the modern city

This thought leadership article considers the enormous potential of the northern powerhouse cities, which provide affordable and large plots of former industrial land that can be used for sustainable redevelopment.

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Vertical farm

Indoor food production – challenges and opportunities

This report follows an innovation workshop with N8 AgriFood academics and businesses, which considered multi-disciplinary research into new and novel farming systems that could offer year-round, sustainable production of high-quality produce.

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