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N8 AgriFood Success in Securing £1.5m Funding

Through six awards from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC), N8 universities have been successful in securing more than £1.5m of funding.

SARIC is a public-private partnership. SARIC is a collaboration between three research councils like BBSRC, NERC, and ESRC and also 12 private partners to address some of the challenges of sustainable intensification in agriculture.

With the N8 Universities of Lancaster, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle being awarded six projects between them, ten inter-disciplinary projects were funded as part of this latest round.

These projects will address key issues such as optimising nutrient use efficiency through better decision-support systems, increasing the resilience of cereal crops to weather damage and predicting water quality in the event of pesticide run-off.

Professor Bruce Grieve is N8 AgriFood Academic Lead at the University of Manchester. He has been funded to develop low-cost fibre-optic matting for measuring livestock weight in real-time for the optimisation of feeding.

The N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme builds on the N8’s research strengths in science, engineering and the social sciences to address global challenges in food security, including sustainable food production, resilient food supply chains, improved nutrition and consumer behaviours.

Prof Katherine Denby is Academic Director of the N8 Agrifood Resilience programme. She said, “Food security is one of the great challenges of the 21st Century. An urgent task faced by governments, industry and society is the need to ensure the global food system is resilient and sustainable."