OFC - Science Award Launched

UK - The Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) and Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) yesterday announced the launch of a 'Practice with Science' Award sponsored by AB Agri on the second day of the OFC.
calendar icon 7 January 2011
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Applications for the Award will be taken from the spring of 2011. It will recognise applied scientific work that has resulted in practical and valuable benefits to the agricultural industry.

"The Award has been established to further develop the Oxford Farming Conference's charitable purpose," explained Christine Tacon, the 2011 and outgoing Oxford Chairman.

"Following up from last year's OFC research, we identified a big gap between the science-driven innovation farmers needed on the ground and the work being done in research institutions which was more leading edge science."

Ms Tacon added: "On further analysis of Britain's R&D focus, it was clear that one of the drivers for scientist's career progression and recognition is paper publication and peer review, but that there has been minimal acknowledgement of work done to put scientific findings to practical farm use, or trying to identify immediate solutions for today's farming concerns."

The Award is funded by the OFC and the RASE with additional sponsored support from AB Agri. "The aim of the Award is to encourage and recognise new thinking and innovation that results in practical advances or improvements in technical and economic efficiency on UK farms," she noted.

The Award is open to academics, researchers and commercial company employees and will recognise three areas of research merit:

  • Novel and original application
  • Clear economic benefit to the industry, food chain and consumers
  • Improved sustainability through the more efficient use of resources

The prize will be £10,000, of which £3,000, funded by AB Agri, will be awarded to the individual and £7,000, funded by the RASE and the OFC, to the institution or business at which the R&D team or individual is based. The latter monies will be used to support further research work on the subject, through the support of a studentship, traineeship or the purchase of a piece of research equipment.

Henry Cator, Chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, commented: "We are delighted to be sponsoring this new award at the Oxford Farming Conference. There is widespread agreement that if we are to feed an increasing world population that we are going to need to embrace technology and science as a part of the solution. The RASE's motto 'Practice with Science' is as relevant today as when the Society was formed in 1838. Stimulating agricultural innovation, spreading knowledge and learning, and applying best practice to production and land management are key to achieving our mission."

Applications will be taken from the spring of this year and the first OFC/RASE 'Practice with Science' Award will be presented at the 2012 Oxford Farming Conference.

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