The European Alliance on Agricultural knowledge for Development

MAJOR INVESTMENT IN FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY RESEARCH AT NRI

The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich, is delighted to announce that it has been granted a substantial award of £7.5m from Research England’s ‘Expanding Excellence in England’ (E3) Fund, to increase its research on food and nutrition security.

Food and nutrition security is about ensuring that people everywhere have enough safe and nutritious food to eat. New knowledge is required to ensure nutritious food for everyone, whilst adapting to global challenges including climate change, conflict, pests and diseases. The money will go towards building a new research capacity at NRI’s Medway site in the historic Chatham Maritime area.

NRI is now actively looking to recruit 20 full-time academic staff at levels between Research Fellow and Professor, two Professional Services staff, and at least 18 PhD students.

Building work will begin shortly on new greenhouse facilities on site in Medway to allow scientists to undertake growth experiments with plants under differing environmental conditions. Internally, existing space will be transformed into a food innovation facility, providing state-of-the-art equipment to support innovations in food processing and value addition, and a new, fully equipped plant ecology laboratory will be established.

Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “Pushing the boundaries of knowledge and conquering new innovations are what our universities are known for the world over. This programme led by the University of Greenwich will consider how to improve food supply and nutrition in developing countries. The Expanding Excellence in England Fund will support projects throughout England to master new and developing areas of research and industry. Made possible through our record R&D spend delivered by our modern Industrial Strategy, the investment will support researchers to develop solutions and opportunities for UK researchers and businesses.”

Professor Andrew Westby, Director of NRI said, “This funding from Research England is transformational in terms of increasing NRI’s capacity to contribute to food and nutrition security, especially in Africa. Working with our partners, we look forward to undertaking high-quality research, with outcomes that improve people’s lives.”

It’s an important year for NRI as it celebrates 125 years of contributing to improving the livelihoods of poor people in developing countries. This grant ensures that NRI builds on past successes while continuing to be a major contributor to global food security.

Notes to editors:
  • Across the UK, the Government is providing the biggest boost to research and development funding in UK history, as part of the ambition to raise the level of R&D funding to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.
  • This investment comes as part of the Expanding Excellence in England Fund supporting England’s world-leading universities to shape new innovations in our economy and provide the skills to support the highly skilled jobs of the future.
  • For more information and to speak to an expert please contact: Linden Kemkaran on 07740 818526 or email or landline. Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4 4TB, UKTel: +44 (0)1634 883626 | Email: m.kemkaran@greenwich.ac.uk | Web: www.nri.org |