SFN Handbook now available for viewing We have been working hard with our Champions and CoIs to put together our 'Newcomer's Guide to the STFC Food Network+'. We'll be officially launching this later on in the year but you can see our current version here:
Collaborative Scoping Projects We are pleased to announce that we will opening a call for collaborative scoping projects for <8k early in 2018, to close on 6th March. This call is open to all projects that bring together STFC capabilities and food research and industry, including topics that aren’t covered by the sandpits. A full application form will be supplied when we announce the call but, to help you start preparing, you can see the information we'll be looking for on our funding page.
Article on SFN in latest edition of The journal of the Institute of Food Science and Technology Professor Sarah Bridle, describes the launch of the Network and its ambitions to apply the skills and facilities of the Science and Technology Facilities Council to tackling the challenges facing food supply. You can read the article here
SFN Sandpits scheduled for early 2018 After a fantastic response to our survey we've decided to go ahead with 2 sandpits as follows:
Transforming food supply chains for a sustainable future
Measuring the ground truth
We will be running these concurrently on the 26th and 27th February 2018 at the Rothamsted Research campus in Harpenden The deadline for applications has now passed and we will be announcing the successful applicants soon. Please see our funding page for more details.
SFN Visit to Harwell On 28th September we ran an STFC Food Network+ (SFN) visit to the STFC Harwell Campus. About 45 people attended, including more than 10 from industry (Pepsico, Mondelez, Unilever). In the morning we had talks introducing food challenges to STFC researchers (Tim Williams, Ian Noble, Jason Halford) and talks about STFC Facilities aimed at food research and industry (Sarah Rogers on ISIS, Tony Parker on CLF, Claire Pizzey on Diamond and Brian Matthews on the Scientific Computing Department). We had excellent feedback from the multiway speed meeting after lunch. Katharine Hollinshead (from STFC) and Harriet Trewin (from BBSRC) gave talks on funding opportunities after lunch, including a new announcement that STFC will contribute to the new BBSRC funding call on precision agriculture technology for the field. We had a brainstorming session on how the STFC Facilities could contribute to food challenges. We are working through the many ideas that came out of that - example highlights for sustainable production include detailed imaging of the root soil interface, imaging reactions to understand the effect of activars/ inhibitors and functional genomics. The food supply chain could benefit from STFC facilities in assessing food safety and adulteration, developing new resilient materials and packaging, developing tools for quality assurance in manufacturing and fundamental study of food solvent interactions. Finally consumer nutrition could benefit from STFC facilities via understanding the bioavailability of nutrients and study of digestion and absorption and point of use testing devices for nutrition. In addition most areas could benefit from using STFC data science and computing capabilities to collate and analyse large quantities of data. Due to popular demand we will organise a future larger visit offering a tour. You can see the slides from the days excellent presentations here:
SFN Champions We are delighted to announce that we have now appointed our SFN Champions who will focus in on the intersecting topics of the SFN - to reach out to those of you in their area - and to interface their areas with the other Champions to ensure a lively cross-fertilisation of ideas. Have a look at our latest blog post to find out more. A big thankyou to the following for taking on these important roles for the Network:
In the next couple of weeks will set up mailing lists for each of the above areas and populate them with the information we have based on the boxes you ticked in the survey and/or launch meeting session selection, but this information is likely to be incomplete, so if you don't hear anything in the next month from the Champion for your area then please contact Alison to be added to the relevant mailing list(s).
Digital Innovation in Livestock Along with N8 Agrifood and CIEL the SFN are co- hosting this event in September to explore the latest in precision farming for enhanced performance, health and welfare of livestock. Unfortunately all of the academic places for this have now been taken up but if you have an industry background and would like to attend please contact Malou Lindholm for more information. A full report will be available after the event.
SFN News Release The SFN officially launched on the 28th June 2017 and, along with our launch meeting (details below), we celebrated with a news release that you can see on our blog page.
SFN Launch Meeting We’re delighted to announce that we had an extremely successful Launch Meeting on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th June in Manchester. Thanks to all of you that attended and participated and particular thanks to all of our speakers and session chairs. You can find full details of the event on our dedicated webpage together with copies of the presentations given across the two days.
SFN Logo Competition The SFN has a new logo! Congratulations and thanks to Anna Louise Sutherland for her winning entry
Seminars SFN PI Sarah Bridle recently gave a Schuster Colloquium in Manchester to promote the work of the SFN and to encourage interactions between the STFC and Agri-Food Communities - this went out to a packed house with over 50 people attending and lots of new sign-ups to the SFN mailing list . We are also taking this seminar on the road, speaking at institutions across the country over the coming months - see if your University is already hosting an event and if not, and you'd like to host a SFN seminar please contact us
Survey Results The SFN recently ran a launch survey in order to find out how much STFC and agri-food researchers know about each other’s work and skills, and to gauge interest in the SFN. Some of the headline results from this:
We had over 640 responses
75% of respondents were from STFC research or facilities
285 people said ‘I would like to join the SFN mailing list to receive updates every few weeks’
82 people said ‘I am considering attending the SFN launch meeting on 28/29 June in Manchester
Digital Innovation in Livestock The SFN are supporting a Digital Innovation in Livestock Meeting that is being organised by N8 AgriFood in conjunction with the Centre of Digital Innovation Applied to Livestock (CIEL) - If you are interested in attending this event please contact us
Sandpits Our first Sandpit is planned for early in 2018 - Updates coming soon.