Friday, October 21, 2011

October News: Miscellaneous

Launch of the UK Plant Sciences Federation on 23 Nov 2011


The UK has a reputation for world class research and development in the plant and crop sciences, and a rich diversity of research groups that reflect the importance of plants for the health and wealth of the nation. However there has been a growing need for a unified body within the UK that incorporates the vast range of plant science researchers, educators and industries. This is in part due to the grand challenges of food security and climate change, which shifts the research agenda and demands an inclusive, comprehensive dialogue across the plant and crop science community.
To address this need, the Society of Biology and a range of plant science stakeholders have come together to form the UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF) as a special interest group of the Society. This exciting new initiative will create an inclusive central forum for UK plant scientists, provide a coordinated vision of plant and crop sciences across the UK, and to serve as 'one voice for UK plant science' to inform policy makers, funders and society.
The Society of Biology will launch the UK Plant Sciences Federation on Wednesday 23 November in London, with a keynote address by botanist and celebrated author, Dr Sandra Knapp from the Natural History Museum. Members of the CPPS Steering Group will be represented at the launch.

Maturing plans for EPSO 'Fascination of Plants Day’ activities in Cambridge


Topic 'the plants behind household objects'; input invited
Previous newsletters have included information on an EPSO 'Fascination of Plants Day' on Fri 18 May 2012. Representatives of the Botanic Garden, the Sainsbury Lab, the Dept of Plant Sciences, the Society of Biology and the CPPS Steering Group met on 15 Oct to discuss options for coordinated activities in Cambridge around that day.
Plans are as yet tentative; it was suggested to organise a day of 'drop-in' activities at the Botanic Garden on Saturday 19 May 2012 (rather than Fri 18 May, to capture larger audiences), and targeted primarily at families. The preferred theme was 'the plants behind household objects'.
Feedback and involvement from the wider CPPS community would be valuable – please email Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley at bgs21@cam.ac.uk with any comments, or if you would like to get involved in the planning process.

Assistant Editor required at JXB


The Journal of Experimental Botany (JXB) is a leading plant science journal publishing high quality primary research and review papers in plant sciences. The papers cover a range of disciplines from molecular and cellular physiology and biochemistry through whole plant physiology to community physiology and food security.
As Assistant Editor you will contribute imaginatively to the development of the Journal as part of the editorial team; in particular the Journal is seeking to improve the quality of service it provides to both its authors and readers, raise the profile of the content it publishes and continue its commercial success.
You should be educated to PhD level in plant science and have experience and understanding of the academic and peer review process and the complexities involved in the measurements of quality and success in academic publishing. An understanding of the significance of plant science and the ability to communicate this to different audiences is essential.
The JXB title is owned by the Society for Experimental Biology (SEB), therefore all profits directly or indirectly support the work of the SEB in "... increasing the influence of, Experimental Biology within the scientific community and Society."
For further information and to apply online, please visit: http://hr-jobs.lancs.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=A235R.

October News: Funding

BBSRC Funding Call for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy:


Generation of Hydrocarbons from Living Organisms
Application deadline: 11 Jan 2012, 16:00

BBSRC wish to encourage proposals that work towards developing novel or improved biological processes for the production and/or isolation of hydrocarbon-like products from biological feedstocks or living organisms.
Scientific objectives
* To develop novel or improved biological processes for the production and/or isolation of products from biological feedstocks or living organisms that have the potential to be used for the production of advanced biofuels, lubricants, platform chemicals, high value chemicals or their biological intermediates
* To take into consideration the energy efficiency, sustainability, environmental impacts and cost effectiveness of the biological process

For more information see www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/opportunities/2012/indbiotech-bioenergy-1.aspx.

October News: Events

Next CPPS Lecture


THU 3 Nov, 16:00-17:00 From Clone to Clinic- oilseed based bio-pharmaceutical production
Maurice Moloney (Director of Rothamsted Research)
Dept of Plant Sciences, Large Lecture Theatre, Cambridge CB2 3EA
Followed by networking over wine and nibbles- all welcome!

Abstract:
Recombinant human Insulin, including its analogues, is the largest volume protein pharmaceutical that is manufactured worldwide. It has a current market value in excess of $8 billion, with a demand that is growing due to increasing incidence of Type II diabetes worldwide and the improved detection of the condition in highly populated, but underserved countries. All commercial recombinant insulin is made in microorganisms, either in E. coli or yeast. Although the manufacturing process has been greatly streamlined over the past 20 years, the cost of goods (COGs) is still a significant factor in supplying the developing world with its necessary supply of Insulin. Furthermore, the capital cost of a conventional fermentation facility for Insulin is still a major disincentive for construction in undersupplied countries. Plants offer the possibility to meet these cost constraints in the production of Insulin and the construction of the necessary facilities. Plant-based production could decrease the COGs for Insulin by 40-50% and the capital cost of a facility by as much as 70%. We have used the oilseed plant Safflower as a platform for the expression of a recombinant proinsulin, which can be recovered inexpensively from the seeds using oilbody separation as a key step in the recovery and enrichment. This approach could allow inexpensive bulk production and purification under cGMP conditions. The plant-derived proinsulin is matured into Insulin chemically and biochemically identical to commercially available Insulin. We have furthermore shown in human clinical trials that plant-made insulin is bioequivalent to Humulin-R, a predominant form of insulin prescribed in N. America.



Feedstocks for Bioenergy: Seminars



InCrops Enterprise Hub and partner organisations are co-hosting a series of seminars on feedstocks for bioenergy to highlight opportunities in the sector and support supply chain development. The events are for energy producers, consultants, farmers, land owners, technology suppliers and other businesses in the supply chain. Registration is FREE.

'A look at perennial energy crops' - 11th November - 09:45 to 13:00 - Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ
InCrops, Anglia Farmers and Rothamsted Research host a seminar on perennial energy crops aimed at promoting opportunities in the bioenergy sector. The demand for biomass in the UK is expected to increase from the end of this year when the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme will become operational. Perennial energy crops, including willow, will be a major part of the solution to help meet the targets for renewable heat production.
At this half-day event:
· Learn about the agronomy of perennial energy crops;
· Find out about supply chain opportunities;
· Visit the research plots and the National Willow Collection hosted by Rothamsted Research;
· Network with fellow businesses and leading academic experts;
· Find out about FREE consultancy from the InCrops Enterprise Hub.
For more information visit the InCrops website at http://www.incropsproject.co.uk/events/51

Straw for energy - 12th December - Late afternoon - Honingham Thorpe, Norwich, NR9 5BZ
The value of straw for bioenergy production and increasing competition for agricultural residues could have an impact on soil quality and structure, requiring complex decisions as to the best use for biomass resources. InCrops and Anglia Farmers hosts the second in a series of bioenergy seminars.
At this twilight event:
· Find out about the demand for straw in bioenergy production;
· Learn about soil carbon & nutrient management and structure, with special reference to the removal of straw as an energy crop.
· Network with fellow businesses;
· Find out about FREE consultancy from the InCrops Enterprise Hub.
For more information visit the InCrops website at http://www.incropsproject.co.uk/events/52

Registration: to register for either or both events please contact Julia O'Rourke, InCrops Events Co-ordinator, on 01603 591 765 or email j.orourke@uea.ac.uk. These events are free to attend, places are limited.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Biofuels: ethical issues: 28 October

Cambridge Bioenergy Initiative / Nuffield Council on Bioethics event:

FRI 28 OCT, 14:00 -15:30
Biofuels: ethical issues
Dept of Plant Sciences, Large Lecture Theatre, Cambridge CB2 3EA

If you have missed the industry-focused discussion event on 1 Sept, here is another opportunity to hear and discuss the outcomes of the Nuffield Report:

To achieve sustainable economic growth, global society needs to wean itself off fossil resources. This in turn puts increased pressure on available biomass, land and water. In the rush for resources, ethical considerations are easily overlooked or given a low priority.

This April the Nuffield Council on Bioethics published its report on the ethical issues surrounding biofuels (Biofuels: ethical issues).The report, which includes recommendations for policy and practice, highlights that its conclusions are also applicable to other sectors which build on biomass as a key resource.

Varsha Jagadesham will be discussing the findings of the Council's report with the audience. The report can be downloaded from http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/biofuels-0.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sept News: Funding and Miscellaneous

Funding



Digest of General Funding Opportunities at Plantsci.org.uk

A useful digest of the latest funding opportunities relevant to plant sciences can be found at http://www.plantsci.org.uk/funding/opportunities/active.

Miscellaneous



Rothamsted Research granted approval to undertake scientific research of GM wheat

Rothamsted Research has been granted approval from ACRE (the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment) to undertake scientific research of GM wheat, modified to produce a pheromone to repel aphids, at the Rothamsted site.

For more details see http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/Research/Centres/PressReleases.php.

'Algal research in the UK: a scoping study' published by BBSRC

An exploratory review of the current status of algal research in the UK has been published this month. The scoping study was commissioned by BBSRC to inform whether it should address fundamental research into the biology of algae in the context of a feedstock for energy and other products, and if so, how. The report reviews past and current activities and makes recommendations as to how the community might be structured to ensure a continuing strength in an international context.

For more details and links to the report see http://www.incropsproject.co.uk/news/121.

Sept News: Events

Event at NIAB’s Innovation Farm:



WEDS 19 OCT, 10:00-16:00 Fibrecrops: agronomy and end-uses

The workshop will explore the potential for novel uses of crop fibres and how new processing methods are opening up the market for these alternative fibre sources.
For further details and registration please visit http://www.innovationfarm.co.uk/.

Cambridge Bioenergy Initiative / Nuffield Council on Bioethics event:



FRI 28 OCT, 14:00 -15:30 Biofuels: ethical issues

Dept of Plant Sciences, Large Lecture Theatre, Cambridge CB2 3EA
If you have missed the industry-focused discussion event on 1 Sept, here is another opportunity to hear and discuss the outcomes of the Nuffield Report:

To achieve sustainable economic growth, global society needs to wean itself off fossil resources. This in turn puts increased pressure on available biomass, land and water. In the rush for resources, ethical considerations are easily overlooked or given a low priority.

This April the Nuffield Council on Bioethics published its report on the ethical issues surrounding biofuels (Biofuels: ethical issues).The report, which includes recommendations for policy and practice, highlights that its conclusions are also applicable to other sectors which build on biomass as a key resource.

Varsha Jagadesham will be discussing the findings of the Council's report with the audience. The report can be downloaded from http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/biofuels-0.

ADVANCE NOTICE FOR YOUR DIARIES: upcoming CPPS Lectures



3 Nov – speaker Maurice Moloney (Rothamsted Research); 'From clone to clinic- oilseed based bio-pharmaceutical production

23 Feb – speaker Julian Ma (St George’s, University of London); ‘Molecular pharming’

Both lectures will take place at the Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge, 16:00-17:00, followed by networking over wine and nibbles.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Miscellaneous news

Upcoming CPPS Lectures


3 November: Maurice Moloney (Rothamsted Research); title tbc
23 February: Julian Ma (St George's, University of London); 'Molecular Pharming'
Both lectures will take place at the Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge, 16:00-17:00, followed by networking over wine and nibbles.

BSPB Hybrid Crop Factsheet released


The British Society for Plant Breeders has released a new fact sheet on Hybrid Crops; it can be downloaded from http://www.bspb.co.uk/BSPB%20Hybrid%20Crop%20Factsheet.pdf.   
 

Potato genome sequenced: Set to revolutionise breeding and ensure food security


UK scientists, as part of an international consortium, have sequenced the genome of potato - the first major UK crop plant to be fully sequenced. This news holds great promise for speeding up the traditionally time-consuming process of developing new varieties (currently 10-12 years to breed a new variety); varieties that in many cases will help to ensure future food security due to improved yield, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to pests and diseases.

For more information please visit http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/food-security/2011/110710-pr-potato-genome-revolutionise-breeding.aspx?utm_source=MailingManager&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BBSRCNewsJuly2011.

Call for the next stage of the SUPERGEN initiative in Bioenergy

Closing date:     16:00 on 25 Oct (Expression of Interest: 3 Oct)
Call type:             Invitation for proposals 

This is an invitation for proposals for a SUPERGEN Bioenergy 'Hub'. This is a revised version of a call previously issued in 2010. We will accept applications from those who submitted to the 2010 call, but also welcome and encourage applications from others. Please note our re-submissions policy will be applied to all submissions. All submissions must include some of the researchers who are involved in the current Bioenergy SUPERGEN.

Approximately £3.5 million is available for this call, and only one Hub will be funded. There should be single submission for each consortium with a single Principal Investigator. It is anticipated that the project will commence in April 2012. The duration of the grant should be five years.

Anyone intending to submit a proposal to this call must register their interest by email to nick.cook@epsrc.ac.uk by 03 October 2011, including in the email the names of the PI and any CoIs, the defined research area, any collaborators and an approximate value of funds to be requested. Please note that this is not intended to restrict the final submission as changes will be allowed, but will give us an indication of the level of interest and enable the quick identification of reviewers. Applicants that do not register their intent will have their applications rejected.

For further information see http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/open/Pages/supergenbioenergy.aspx

Events at NIAB's Innovation Farm:

Thursday 8 September


Maize diversity: a versatile crop
Focusing on this rapidly expanding UK crop, the maize workshop will demonstrate the crop's versatility, showcasing the wide range of varieties suitable for forage use, biogas production and grain for crimping, with a particular focus on tailoring crop agronomy to fit the end-use.
For further details and registration please visit http://www.innovationfarm.co.uk/.

Friday, July 29, 2011

InCrops/Nuffield Council on Bioethics event

Thursday 1 September


'Rush for Resources: Ethics of building a bio-based economy'

15:30 -18:30. The Hauser Forum, Cambridge CB3 0GT

The event is for businesses interested in biomass as a feedstock for energy and materials, and is FREE to attend.

To achieve sustainable economic growth, global society needs to wean itself off fossil resources. This in turn puts increased pressure on available biomass, land and water. In the rush for resources, ethical considerations are easily overlooked or given a low priority.

This April the Nuffield Council on Bioethics published its report on the ethical issues surrounding biofuels (Biofuels: ethical issues).The report, which includes recommendations for policy and practice, highlights that its conclusions are also applicable to other sectors which build on biomass as a key resource.

Join us to:

  • Hear from Prof. Christine Raines of the Council's Working Party on biofuels, presenting the findings of the report.

  • Discuss the report recommendations and potential implications for the wider bio economy in the UK.

  • Respond to the findings of the report and share comments with other attendees.

  • Network with fellow businesses in the sector.


Registration - to attend this event please contact Julia O'Rourke, InCrops events co-ordinator, by Wednesday 24 August to register your place.
Email j.orourke@uea.ac.uk or call 01603 591765.

Events at NIAB’s Innovation Farm

Thursday 4 August


Fibre crops: agronomy and end uses

Various fibre crops are being demonstrated at NIAB Innovation Farm in 2011. The workshop will explore the potential for novel uses of crop fibres and how new processing methods are opening up the market for these alternative fibre sources.

Thursday 1 September


Horticulture: breeding for quality and quantity

With a large horticultural field demonstration area at Innovation Farm in 2011, the workshop will focus on how industry advances have contributed to improved quality and quantity in alliums, potatoes and carrots, and the challenges that still face the sector.

Thursday 8 September


Maize diversity: a versatile crop

Focusing on this rapidly expanding UK crop, the maize workshop will demonstrate the crop's versatility, showcasing the wide range of varieties suitable for forage use, biogas production and grain for crimping, with a particular focus on tailoring crop agronomy to fit the end-use.


For further details and registration please visit http://www.innovationfarm.co.uk/.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer CPPS Event at NIAB 14 July - ONLY 12 PLACES LEFT

Summer CPPS Event at NIAB – Crops and Climate Change Workshop with Tour of NIAB's Innovation Farm

Come and join us for this Summer’s CPPS Workshop Day on 'Crops and Climate Change'!
Registration now open - download full programme

Where? NIAB's Innovation Farm, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE

When? Thu 14 July 2011, 9:30-16:00

Who will be speaking?
Andy Challinor (Institute of Climate and Atmosphere Science, Leeds
John Spink (Head of Crop Science Dept., Teagasc Crops)
Richard Summers (Leader on Cereal Breeding, RAGT)
Eric Ober (Group Leader Crop Physiology, Broom’s Barn-Rothamsted Research)

What else is on?
- Poster booster sessions – please bring posters of your work to discuss with other delegates!
- A guided tour round NIAB's Innovation Farm in the afternoon
- Lots of opportunity for networking over coffee, tea and during lunch

How do I register?
Easiest via web-registration: http://www.niab.com/shop/item/124; payment can also be arranged via phone (01223 342344; Angus Hamilton), or email (angus.hamilton@niab.com). As a CPPS contact you will be registered at the discounted rate of £30 + VAT. For non-payment related enquiries please contact Claire Pumfrey (claire.pumfrey@niab.com) or BeatrixSchlarb-Ridley (bgs21@cam.ac.uk).


I want to bring a poster!

Excellent – we would like to have posters from as many delegates as possible. Please email your poster title to Claire Pumfrey (claire.pumfrey@niab.com) after you have registered.

Preparations for first Fascination of Plants Day in Europe (18 May 2012) through EPSO "Z√ľndsatz Group"

This day shall be a Europe-wide initiative bringing back understanding and appreciation of plant science and plant research to the lay public; an initiative which CPPS members may want to be involved with. The organizers have provided the following information:

Planning and accomplishing the Fascination of Plants Day will be based onto two pillars:

i) The broad pillar:


As many plant science and research institutes as possible start to prepare for their individual activities for that day. These can be open lab days, public discussions and/or press conferences with selected scientists, farmers, plant breeders, environmentalists, ecologists, etc. Of course, all EPSO member institutions are kindly asked to actively attend. Beyond, other institutions like plant breeding companies, farmer associations, learned societies, etc., should be involved. Contacts to some learned societies in DK, UK, FR, DE, PL and CZ are already affirmed.

ii) The central pillar:


Under the umbrella of EPSO, the Fascination of Plants Day will be concertedly announced to the main multipliers of newscasts in the respective European countries, i.e. the nation-wide newspapers and selected broadcast stations as well as the Discovery Channel. In addition, local newspapers and radio/TV stations shall be approached in a city or area where a participating institution is located. Finally, facebook and other social networks shall be "programmed" for advertising the Fascination of Plants Day .To make all information about the Fascination of Plants Day's initiative as appealing as possible (information should be in the form of press releases, press kits, bills, posters, etc.) a prominent person is to be sought who should be someone very well known to the European public. This person then becomes the patron of the Fascination of Plants Day. Optimally, somebody from entertainment industry or another VIP should be engaged. We are looking forward to have suggestions from you!

A professional designer will be approached to draft a logo and a corporate design for the Fascination of Plants Day, which has to be consistantly used by all participating institutions. Further, a roadmap for all single and consecutive activities will be prepared and distributed to all EPSO members immediately after the EPSO General Meeting in Paris mid of June.

After the General Meeting, all work will start and hence, we are very happy if the Fascination of Plants Day - Working Group could get some more members. Optimally, we would like to have at least one contact person from each European Country (non Europeans are of course also kindly asked!), not at least because we need native speakers from the given nations who translate all Fascination of Plants Day info into their mother tongues! At present, the working group consists of Heike Mikschofsky (DE), Joachim Schiemann (DE), Manuela Dahinden (CH), Franziska Humair (CH), Luca Wacker (CH), Lynley Brown (NZ), Emma Timewell (UK), Dee Rawsthorne (UK), and Tristan Bunn (UK).

For further information and to register interest in participating, please contact Dee Rawsthorne (dee.rawsthorne@nbi.ac.uk; UK contact) or Jan Kellmann (jkellmann@ice.mpg.de; central coordinator of the Fascination of Plants Day).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Research Project at BSPB available


Research Project - Building a Portfolio of Material on Plant Breeding Successes for BSPB's Communications Programme



Do you have a knowledge and understanding of crop improvement, an inquiring mind, great communication skills, a desire to make contacts and gain experience in the communication of science and the plant breeding industry and some time to spare in the next few months? If so, BSPB would like to hear from you.

BSPB is the representative association for the commercial plant breeding industry in the UK. Our 59 members are breeders and breeders’ agents for varieties of agricultural crops, vegetable seed for the professional market and amenity grass. Our main functions as a Society are licensing and royalty collection on certified and farm saved seed, the organisation of variety trials, representing our members on regulatory, technical and IP matters and communicating the role and importance of commercial plant breeding. We have recently revised our Communications strategy to address a broad audience, targeting particularly MPs and MEPs, other policy makers, regulators, R & D funders and royalty payers, including farmers who pay royalties on farm saved seed.

We want to develop a comprehensive portfolio of stories, articles, data, images and video clips about plant breeding developments including specific achievements and breakthroughs in a broad range of crops, information about the benefits of plant breeding developments to users, examples of success from collaborative R & D and examples of effective translation of R & D into practice. This material will form a resource for developing printed material, presentations and our new web site.

We wish to appoint someone, possibly a student, for 2 months to source and collect this material through a programme of visits to plant breeding companies, research organisations and others. We are looking for an individual who has technical knowledge of plant breeding and crop improvement, excellent communication skills, self-motivation and organisational ability who has their own car and is able to travel within the UK to carry out this project.

If you are interested contact Penny Maplestone at the BSPB (Tel 01353 653201)

www.bspb.co.uk

Friday, May 20, 2011

Events in May & June

Cereals 2011



15-16 June 2011, Boothby Heath, Lincolnshire LN5 0AS

Several CPPS partners will be exhibiting.
For details and registration see http://www.cerealsevent.co.uk/.

Cambridge Conservation Forum:
Summer Symposium "Landscape and localism: future directions in habitat management"



23 June 2011, 9:00-17:30, Judge Business School, Cambridge CB2 1AG

For details and registration see http://www.cambridgeconservationforum.org.uk/news/.

Open Days of CPPS Partners



NIAB-TAG



A series of Open Days and Workshops relevant to CPPS interests are run by NIAB-TAG over the summer, starting 23 May 2011. For full list and links, please see http://www.niab.com/pages/id/321/Future_Events.

ADAS



Three Open Days relevant to CPPS interests are run by ADAS in June, the event in Cambs in on

9 June 2011, 11:00-16:00, Boxworth, Cambridge, CB23 4NN

For full list and links, please see http://aplus.adas.co.uk/Communities/Farmers/ADAS-Open-Days-2011-Meeting-the-growing-demand-for-crops-.aspx.

Rothamsted Research: Broom's Barn Research Centre Open Day



28 June 2011, 9:30-16:30, Higham, Bury St. Edmunds, IP28 6NP

For details and registration see http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/broom/events/.

Funding Opportunities

TSB Nutrition for Life Call



This call aims to stimulate innovation in the food and drink sector.

Closes: 29 June 2011

£6.25m will be available to support feasibility and collaborative R&D projects that enable the development of innovative technologies and processes, with an emphasis on the provision of 'healthy' and 'safe' foods. Proposals should be business led and must clearly present the benefits to business.

Up to £500k is available for small-scale technical feasibility studies in early stage, high risk, applied research, with each project attracting up to £25k funding. Projects may be undertaken by a single business or with one other entity (either business or academia), and are expected to last three to six months.

Up to £5.75m is available for collaborative R&D projects that are led by a business of any size and undertaken by consortia comprising at least two partners (either business or academia). Total project costs will be £100k - £500k and they are likely to last between one and three years.

For further information see: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/nutrition-for-life.ashx.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Summer CPPS Event at NIAB 14 July

Registration now open:
Summer CPPS Event at NIAB - Crops and Climate Change
Workshop Day with Tour of NIAB's Innovation Farm



Come and join us for this Summer's CPPS Workshop Day on 'Crops and Climate Change'!

Where?
NIAB's Innovation Farm, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE

When?
Thu 14 July 2011, 9:30-16:00

Who will be speaking?



John Spink (Head of Crop Science Dept., Teagasc Crops)

Andy Challinor (Institute of Climate and Atmosphere Science, Leeds)

Richard Summers (Leader on Cereal Breeding, RAGT)

Eric Ober (Group Leader Crop Physiology, Broom’s Barn-Rothamsted Research)

What else is on?



* Poster booster sessions - please bring posters of your work to discuss with other delegates!

* A guided tour round NIAB's Innovation Farm in the afternoon

* Lots of opportunity for networking over coffee, tea and during lunch

How do I register?



Easiest via web-registration: http://www.niab.com/shop/item/124; payment can also be arranged via phone (01223 342344; Angus Hamilton), or email (angus.hamilton@niab.com). As a CPPS contact you will be registered at the discounted rate of £30 + VAT. For non-payment related enquiries please contact Claire Pumfrey (claire.pumfrey@niab.com) or BeatrixSchlarb-Ridley (bgs21@cam.ac.uk).

I want to bring a poster!



Excellent – we would like to have posters from as many delegates as possible. Please email your poster title to Claire Pumfrey (claire.pumfrey@niab.com) after you have registered.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CPPS News April 2011

News from within the Partnership:



Funding received for improving photosynthesis to increase food and fuel production

Scientists in the UK (including from Plant Sciences Cambridge, Rothamsted and John Innes) and USA have been awarded £6.11M of funding to improve the process of photosynthesis. Four transatlantic research teams will look into ways to overcome limitations in photosynthesis which could then lead to ways of significantly increasing the yield of important crops for food production or sustainable bioenergy. Read more.


Nuffield Council on Bioethics publishes Report



Biofuels: ethical issues

The latest report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Biofuels: ethical issues, can be accessed at: .

The report considers the ethical, social and policy issues raised by biofuels. The rapid adoption of biofuels has been driven by targets and other policy instruments, but first generation biofuels have been widely criticised. There are ongoing efforts to develop new biofuels that aim to avoid the problems of the past, and research into these new approaches should be supported. The report concludes that many biofuels policies fail to take account of important ethical principles, such as protecting human rights, environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation, just reward, and equitable distribution of costs and benefits. It sets out an ethical framework for both current and future biofuels production and makes a number of recommendations to policy makers.

Plant scientists to train in entrepreneurial skills for food security



The Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) - a business plan competition for early career researchers - is pleased to announce a brand new workshop for plant, microbial and environmental scientists entering the scheme. These researchers will acquire the necessary skills to develop research in a commercial setting such that their science can be translated into products, processes and policies that will help avoid a future food security crisis and improve sustainability in the context of a changing environment.

The workshop will be run at Syngenta's Jealott's Hill International Research Centre near Bracknell and is a partnership between the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Syngenta.

Applications close on 27 May 2011 and the workshop will be held in October. For more information, visit http://www.biotechnologyyes.co.uk/.


If you have any events, news or advertisements you would like to see included in the next newsletter please email bgs21@cam.ac.uk (deadline for inclusion in next newsletter is 10am on 16 May 2011).

Funding Opportunities

TSB Sustainable Agriculture Call

Closes: 11 May 2011

The call has two interrelated core themes:

* Increasing domestic supply of sustainably produced vegetable protein for farmed animals (including land and marine based aquaculture)
* Increasing production efficiency and sustainability of domestically supplied animal and fish protein for food, and reducing waste in the food chain to the point of retail sale.

The projects should be business-led and seek to develop new products or processes. Most of the funding is expected to be allocated to proposals in the applied R&D (attracting up to 50% funding) or experimental development (up to 25% funding) categories.

For further information see: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/sustainable-protein-production.ashx


TSB Nutrition for Life Call

This call aims to stimulate innovation in the food and drink sector.

Opens: 9 May 2011 - Closes: 29 June 2011

£6.25m will be available to support feasibility and collaborative R&D projects that enable the development of innovative technologies and processes, with an emphasis on the provision of 'healthy' and 'safe' foods. Proposals should be business led and must clearly present the benefits to business.

Up to £500k is available for small-scale technical feasibility studies in early stage, high risk, applied research, with each project attracting up to £25k funding. Projects may be undertaken by a single business or with one other entity (either business or academia), and are expected to last three to six months.

Up to £5.75m is available for collaborative R&D projects that are led by a business of any size and undertaken by consortia comprising at least two partners (either business or academia). Total project costs will be £100k – £500k and they are likely to last between one and three years.

For further information see: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/nutrition-for-life.ashx.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crops and Climate Change 14 July

Next CPPS Event for the Diary: Workshop Day
Title: Crops and Climate Change
Date: 14 July 2011, 9:30-16:00
Venue: NIAB’s Innovation Farm, Cambridge CB3 0LE

The day will start with talks and poster booster sessions in the morning, and will conclude with a guided tour of NIAB’s Innovation Farm. Registration details will be advertised in subsequent newsletters, and on the CPPS website.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crops, energy crops, and the carbon cycle: their impact on the EU’s RED

Special seminar at Broom's Barn, Department of Applied Crop Sciences, Rothamsted Research, Higham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP28 6NP.

Dr Jeremy Woods, Imperial College London, Rothamsted Research, and Porter Alliance.

Tuesday 5th April 11.00am in the Hall

Please contact Belinda Townsend (belinda.townsend@bbsrc.ac.uk or 01284 812240 ) if you have any queries or would like to register your planned attendance.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Advances in Printing event 29 March

FREE Academic-Industry morning networking event
Tuesday 29 March 2011, Institute of Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

New materials are being introduced to printing all the time, with industry and academia pushing the boundaries for substrates and inks. At the same time, the need to pay attention to an efficient use of resources and the reduction of waste is also pointing at new directions for printing R&D. In this event we explore how new printing
technologies, materials and strategies can be used both within the sector and in other industries to widen the range of applications, increase efficiency and decrease use of resources and cost.

More information: http://www.incropsproject.co.uk/events/34.

FREE InCrops technology adoption event 'Bioplastics' 23 March, Thetford 16:30 -19:00

InCrops Enterprise Hub invites you to "Opportunities, challenges and advances in processing and recycling of biopolymers" event on 23 March 2011 16:30 - 19:00, Keystone Innovation Centre, Thetford IP24 1JD.

The event is for businesses interested in sustainable alternatives to petrochemical plastics and those involved in the supply chain, conversion and recycling of plastics. This event is FREE to attend.

Hear from Matthew White of British Sugar about the challenges and opportunities for sugar-derived polymers, from Christoph Lohr of FKuR about the technical aspects of some bioplastics and from Marcel Arsand of Recoup on understanding the terminology, application options and recyclability.

Registration - to attend this event please contact Julia O’Rourke, InCrops events co-ordinator, by email j.orourke@uea.ac.uk or call 01603 591765 by 18th March.

Further information about the event and the InCrops Project is available at www.incropsproject.co.uk/events.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Food System Planning Theory and Practice call for papers

Next call for papers:

Food System Planning Theory and Practice (deadline: April 20)

Bolstered by growing societal concerns about the equity and environmental sustainability of the global food system, planners increasingly are becoming engaged in local efforts to analyze and address food system challenges and opportunities.

Food system planning is increasingly practiced not just by planning professionals, but also by architects, landscape architects, and staff at NGOs and public agencies. In this special topic focus, we encourage practicing planners and others engaged in food system planning — as well as planning scholars and students — to submit applied research-based papers. As there is little attention paid to their work in the literature, rural planners are especially encouraged to submit papers.

Examples of topics include:

* food deserts, swamps, and oases
* siting of community and public gardens, and farmers' and mobile markets
* innovations in emergency food assistance
* retail access
* regional planning and economic development related to farm and agribusiness retention and expansion
* mapping of food distribution systems
* farmland protection
* metropolitan agriculture
* food policy councils
* integrating food policy into state and federal agencies

See more details at JAFSCD's calls for papers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Update: February 2011

Please feel free to distribute this update to other members of your organisation.
If you have any events, news or advertisements you would like to see included in the next newsletter, please email bgs21@cam.ac.uk by 10am on 14 March 2011.

Content in Summary:



Events -
CPPS lecture by Professor Daniel Zamir (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) Is there a limit to tomato yield? 17 Feb 2011, 16:00-17:00 at the Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge CB2 3EA, followed by networking;
Training Event: Growing Quality Ware Potatoes: 24 Feb 2011, 09:00-16:00 in Attleborough;
Conference: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture: 28 Feb-1 March 2011, at the Royal Society
 
Funding Opportunities -
Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust (NFST) Award to explore 'Life after manufactured fertiliser', deadline 18 March 2011;
TSB Sustainable Agriculture Call: deadline 11 May 2011
 
Jobs - ADAS Graduate Scheme; deadline 9am on 25 Feb 2011
 

Events


 
Next CPPS Lecture
Speaker: Professor Daniel Zamir, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Title: Is there a limit to tomato yield?
Date: 17 Feb 2010, 16:00-17:00 (followed by wine & nibbles)
Venue: Dept of Plant Sciences (Large Lecture Theatre), Cambridge CB2 3EA
The lecture will be followed by networking over wine and nibbles; an excellent opportunity to connect with the speaker and other members from industry and academia! All welcome, no registration is necessary.
Abstract available here

Growing Quality Ware Potatoes
A seminar from the Training Association
Date: 24 Feb 2011, 09:00-16:00
Venue: Breckland Lodge, Attleborough, Norfolk
BASIS CPD points have been applied for
This seminar will deal with the blemishes and rots and what can go wrong with potato tubers destined for high quality outlets. It is aimed at practical potato growers and their advisors, as well as others who in their daily work deal with high value potato crops. Participants will be encouraged to contribute from their own experience in dialogue and discussion in order to acquire a better understanding of the reasons behind disease management strategies.
Cost: £50 (+ VAT)
For information about the course, and to obtain a booking form, contact Paul at paul@gansplanthealth.com or telephone 01223 212496 or 07834 355899 or visit www.gansplanthealth.com.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture
Date: 28 Feb-1 March 2011
Venue: The Royal Society
Delivering the increases in food production required from a growing population, while reducing agricultural emissions and adapting to climate change, presents a unique scientific challenge, which this discussion meeting at The Royal Society proposes to explore. For information on how to register, see http://www2.royalsociety.org/events/forms/1111.htm.

Funding Opportunities



Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust
Opportunity to study 'Life after manufactured fertiliser' - Applications Open: The Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust (NFST) is pleased to announce a special award offering leading industry individuals the chance to explore 'Life after manufactured fertiliser'. This special award is open to UK residents working in the fields of food, farming or forestry and there is no age limit. The closing date for applications is 18 March 2011, to be followed by interviews for shortlisted candidates on 7 April 2011. Read more….
 
TSB Sustainable Agriculture Call
Details are now out for the TSB Sustainable Agriculture Call:. Opens:  4 April 2011. Closes: 11 May 2011
The call has two interrelated core themes:
* Increasing domestic supply of sustainably produced vegetable protein for farmed animals (including land and marine based aquaculture)
* Increasing production efficiency and sustainability of domestically supplied animal and fish protein for food, and reducing waste in the food chain to the point of retail sale.
The projects should be business-led and seek to develop new products or processes. Most of the funding is expected to be allocated to proposals in the applied R&D (attracting up to 50% funding) or experimental development (up to 25% funding) categories.
Further information.
 

Jobs


 
ADAS is looking to recruit further new graduates this year; sectors include pest / weed / disease management, sustainability and soil science.  Eight candidates were appointed last year through this process and a many more though other routes. Details and the application form can be found here.
The closing date for applications is 9am on 25 Feb 2011. You can email your application to Graduate.recruitment2011@adas.co.uk or post hardcopies of the completed form to Lisa Hallington, ADAS Gleadthorpe, Netherfield Lane, Meden Vale, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG20 9PF.

_____
If you have any events, news or advertisements you would like to see included in the next newsletter, or to unsubscribe, please email bgs21@cam.ac.uk (deadline for inclusion in next newsletter is 10am 14 March 2011).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ADAS Graduate Scheme employment opportunities 2011

James Clarke of ADAS is very pleased to let you know that ADAS is looking to recruit further new graduates this year. They appointed 8 last year through this process and a many more though other routes. The 2011 ADAS Graduate recruitment covers crops, livestock and environment. Details can also be found at http://www.adas.co.uk/Home/CareerOpportunities/GraduateScheme2011/tabid/335/Default.aspx.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update January 2011

Please feel free to distribute this update to other members of your organisation.
If you have any events, news or advertisements you would like to see included in the next newsletter, please email bgs21@cam.ac.uk by 10am on 14 January 2011.

Content in Summary:



Events – Next CPPS lecture by Dr Danny Zamir (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) Is there a limit to tomato yield?  17 Feb 2011, 16:00-17:00 at the Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge CB2 3EA, followed by networking; Training Event: Growing Quality Ware Potatoes: 24 Feb 2011, 09:00-16:00 in Attleborough; Conference: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture: 28 Feb-1 March 2011, at the Royal Society

Funding Opportunities - African Enterprise Challenge Fund Agribusiness and Renewable Energy Calls, deadline 31 Jan 2011; Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust (NFST) Award  to explore 'Life after manufactured fertiliser', deadline 18 March 2011.

Jobs – Research & Knowledge Transfer Managers in Non-Food Uses and Agronomy at HGCA ; deadline 31 Jan 2011

Miscellaneous – CALL FOR PAPERS: The Essential Principles of Small- and Mid-Scale Food Value Chain Development; deadline 15 Feb 2011; Technology and Innovation Centres Prospectus published

Events


Next CPPS Lecture
Speaker: Danny Zamir, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Title: Is there a limit to tomato yield?
Date:  17 Feb 2010, 16:00-17:00 (followed by wine & nibbles)
Venue: Dept of Plant Sciences (Large Lecture Theatre), Cambridge CB2 3EA
The lecture will be followed by networking over wine and nibbles; an excellent opportunity to connect with the speaker and other members from industry and academia!   All welcome, no registration is necessary.
Abstract available here
- - - - -
Growing Quality Ware Potatoes
A seminar from the Training Association
Date:  24 Feb 2011, 09:00-16:00
Venue: Breckland Lodge, Attleborough, Norfolk
BASIS CPD points have been applied for
This seminar will deal with the blemishes and rots and what can go wrong with potato tubers destined for high quality outlets. It is aimed at practical potato growers and their advisors, as well as others who in their daily work deal with high value potato crops. Participants will be encouraged to contribute from their own experience in dialogue and discussion in order to acquire a better understanding of the reasons behind disease management strategies.
Cost: £50 (+ VAT)
For information about the course, and to obtain a booking form, contact Paul at paul@gansplanthealth.com or telephone 01223 212496 or 07834 355899 or visit www.gansplanthealth.com.

- - - - -
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture
Date: 28 Feb-1 March 2011
Venue: The Royal Society
Delivering the increases in food production required from a growing population, while reducing agricultural emissions and adapting to climate change, presents a unique scientific challenge, which this discussion meeting at The Royal Society proposes to explore. For information on how to register, see http://www2.royalsociety.org/events/forms/1111.htm.

Funding Opportunities


 
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund launched in mid-2008 and has since run seven rounds of its investment competition, supporting new investment in the agribusiness, rural financial services and media and information sectors, across Africa.
Calls currently open:
* Tanzania Agribusiness Competition
* Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies Competition
Deadline for both 31 Jan 2011
Read more on: http://www.aecfafrica.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15&Itemid

- - - - -
Opportunity to study 'Life after manufactured fertiliser' - Applications Open: The Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust (NFST) is pleased to announce a special award offering leading industry individuals the chance to explore 'Life after manufactured fertiliser'. This special award is open to UK residents working in the fields of food, farming or forestry and there is no age limit. The closing date for applications is 18 March 2011, to be followed by interviews for shortlisted candidates on 7 April 2011.

Jobs

 
HGCA are recruiting for Research & Knowledge Transfer Managers in Non-Food Uses and Agronomy.  Based at Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, deadline 31 Jan 2011. Details of HGCA's job vacancies are available on the AHDB website: http://www.ahdb.org.uk/vacancies/default.aspx.

Miscellaneous


 
CALL FOR PAPERS: 

The Essential Principles of Small- and Mid-Scale Food Value Chain Development
Manuscripts due February 15, 2011
JAFSCD invites researchers, ag/food system development professionals, and others to submit applied research papers, critical reflection essays, commentaries, and other manuscripts that provide critical insights into small- and mid-scale food value chain development.          
Further information can be found on: http://www.agdevjournal.com/current-special-topic-call.html. For details about JAFSCD and author guidelines, visit www.AgDevJournal.com/submissions.

- - - - -

Technology and Innovation Centres Prospectus Published
In October 2010 it was announced that over £200m will be invested in a network of elite technology and innovation centres, to be established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board. A prospectus (pdf) has just been published to begin launching these world-leading centres, including an invitation for organisations to register their interest in forming a technology and innovation centre focused on the area of high value manufacturing. Read more on http://www.innovateuk.org/deliveringinnovation/technology-and-innovation-centres.ashx.

_____
If you have any events, news or advertisements you would like to see included in the next newsletter, or to unsubscribe, please email bgs21@cam.ac.uk (deadline for inclusion in next newsletter is 10am 14 January 2011).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Job opportunity with Germains, Kings Lynn

Senior Laboratory Scientist – Kings Lynn

"At Germains, through our depth of experience and expertise, we employ an industry-leading combination of the latest technological and biological tools and techniques to significantly enhance the natural potential of seed.

An exciting opportunity has arisen within our UK R&D department for a Senior Scientist with experience of working in biological sciences with knowledge of plant and seed physiology. An understanding of soil science and plant nutrition would be advantageous.

The successful candidate will need to quickly develop a deep technical understanding of the current and future development project requirements of the business as well as identify new approaches to help the business achieve its long term goals."

Key Responsibilities would be:

• Research and development of new seed treatments and enabling technologies for the improvement of germination and vigour of seeds, with a focus on sugar beet
• To fully utilise company systems to accurately record all results, provide detailed statistical analysis of relevant information and to provide interpretation of results
• Conduct statistical analysis on study results to identify patterns and trends
• Write clear and concise reports to enable the presentation of findings and conclusions, as well as proposed next steps
• Communicate and transfer technical knowledge to manufacturing team to allow large scale application of new technologies
• Work closely with operations to periodically review manufacturing processes to ensure that maximum efficiencies are being achieved through all processes

The successful candidate will require the following attributes and skills:

• The ability to present ideas and recommendations in a clear and concise manner to enable effective business decisions to be made
• The ability to communicate effectively at all levels in the organisation
• Sound technical ability combined with a structured and business focused approach

Experience required is as follows:

• Minimum 1-3 years postgraduate experience in biological sciences
• Experience in seed physiology
• Experienced in conducting laboratory or agricultural field trials

A competitive salary and benefits package will be offered for the role which will be commensurate with the experience and track record of the successful candidate.

If you wish to apply for this position, please send your CV and a cover letter to:
Tim Drew, HR Manager, Hansa Road, Kings Lynn, PE30 4LG (tdrew@germains.com).