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Driving engagement, innovation and impact in plant science

Event details
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
9:30 am – 19:30 pm
Bringing together plant scientists, growers and producers, food manufacturing companies, social researchers and innovators.

Plant science is critical to many of the world’s global challenges including food security, environmental sustainability and climate change. This event has been developed through a unique partnership between KTN, The University of Sheffield and UK Plant Science Federation (UKPSF).

Through the development of innovative solutions, plant science can help drive productivity and sustainability across the bioeconomy. Yet if these novel solutions are going to be adopted, scientists need to develop technologies that are both fit-for-purpose in the real world and that are accepted by the public. To achieve this, we need to develop better interdisciplinary approaches, so we can properly understand the needs and motivations of end-users and stakeholders alike.

This interactive workshop will bring together plant scientists, social researchers and innovators to explore novel approaches and learning from other sectors, and thus facilitate more effective co-design, knowledge exchange and public understanding.

KTN will also be launching its pre-competitive R&D vision for the agricultural sector at the event, which includes specific chapters relating “Improving social awareness and proliferation of required skills”.



Please note that the programme may be subject to changes.

9:15 – 10:00 Arrival and registrations

10:00 -12:30 – Impact studies of Social Science in action in plant science “Social element”

Introduction – Chris Danks, Knowledge Transfer Manager (Plant & Crops), KTN

Challenges and opportunities of integrating environmental and social science – Prof Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield

Policy and Economics. Analysis on the impact of Brexit on the UK agricultural industry – David Swales, Head of Strategic Insight, AHDB

SARIC/wider engagement with farmers/ SLURRY MAX Project – Dr Emma Cardwell, Lancaster University

Tree Health Initiatives – Prof Rick Mumford, Director of Science, Fera Science Ltd

Social Sciences and Policy Development – Dr Ruth Little, Research Fellow in the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

From fish oils to pharmaceuticals: plant science delivering novel agricultural products – Prof Ian Graham – Head of Department and Weston Chair of Biochemical Genetics, CNAP, University of York


13:30 – 16:00 – Launch of KTN Pre-Competitive Booklet and associated talks around interdisciplinary approaches to innovation “KE element”

Prof David Petley – Vice-President for Research and Innovation, University of Sheffield (Chair)

How KTN engages with industry, facilitates knowledge exchange – Dr Jayne Brookman, Head of Agri-Food, KTN

Launch of the Pre-Competitive R&D Booklet and a Syngenta perspective – Dr Martin Clough, Head Global Product Biology, Syngenta

Growers perspective on Knowledge Exchange and innovation – James Hopwood, Head of Agriculture, Whole Crop Marketing

Impact on farming and communities – Adam Bedford, NFU

Innovation in Plant Science and role of KTPs – Jason Hawkins Row, Aponic Ltd

How to link TRL development to new tech and their uptake – Dr Glyn Jones, environmental economist, Fera Science Ltd & Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI), University of Newcastle

What is impact? – Dr Mark Reed – Professor of Social Innovation, Newcastle University


17:00 – 19:00 – Question Time Panel and Debates on key topics “Public Engagement element”

Prof Duncan Cameron –  Professor of Plant and Soil Biology, University of Sheffield (Chair)

Dr Jill Edmondson – EPSRC Early Career ‘Living with Environmental Change Challenge’ Fellow, University of Sheffield

Richard Bramley – Manor Farms

Tom Jenkins – Innovate UK

Prof Janet Bainbridge OBE – DIT

Dr. David Langton – Agrii

Prof Athole Marshal – Aberystwyth University

Dr Clive Blacker – Precision Decisions

Prof Julie Gray – University of Sheffield


Further information

Car parking is available at the Qpark at Durham Road, S10 2JA, Sheffield. This is a public car park and does charge a fee, it’s conveniently located only a few minuets walk from Firth Court.

Alternatively the venue is located a only short taxi ride or a 25min walk for the train station.

If you have specific travel or mobility requirements please contact

For more information about this event please contact our sector lead
Liliya Serazetdinova
Knowledge Transfer Manager, AgriFood