CHAP is one of four Centres for Agricultural Innovation and a key component of the government’s Agri-Tech Strategy.
The simple fact is that climate change and a range of other factors including anticipated population growth and the degradation of ecosystems is making it increasingly difficult to meet the long term global demand for food. To feed the growing world population, it is imperative we increase our crop yield. This means we need to focus on the protection of crops, microbes and soils from economically damaging pests, pathogens & weeds.
CHAP is designed to make sure that the knowledge and insight from the UK’s science base is translated into benefits for farmers, growers and the food industry both at home and internationally. The government and industry believe that wider adoption of science and technological innovation is the key to unlocking the potential of farming by improving productivity and tackling problems such as soil erosion, adapting to climate change, managing the impact of pests and diseases, depleting natural resources, and providing environmentally friendly solutions.
I am excited and honoured to have been invited to become the new CHAP CEO at this critical time for the agriculture sector. I am looking forward to pressing the accelerator and navigating a clear course built on all the hard work that the Board and Executive team have been doing over the past 12 months. I have over 30 years’ commercial experience (sales, marketing, and business and market development) in the Bioscience industry. I have a passion for both the development and adoption of innovation to drive health and wealth and I am absolutely committed to the driving principle behind CHAP, which is that science, technological and process innovation is the key to raising crop productivity through transforming our approach to the management of weeds, pests, diseases, water and soil.
CHAP has several new and cutting edge capabilities coming on stream in 2018. This includes the E_flows mesocom, which will provide a unique testbed for agrochemicals and other products, the Soil Unit at Cranfield, the Fine Phenotyping facility at Rothamsted, a new Biopesticide Screening facility and new LED lit vertical farm facility at Stockbridge. We will also be working on a number of exciting new projects which we will be taking forward for funding rounds, whilst hosting regular engagement days to identify more opportunities.
I look forward to meeting you during the course of this year, so that, together, we can make a real difference for farmers, growers and the food industry both at home and abroad.
John runs Cobrey Farms in a family partnership with his wife, Gay, and their two sons Henry and Christopher.
Fraser has over 30 years’ commercial experience; sales, marketing, business and market development in the Bioscience industry.
Caroline has been running LEAF, the farming and environmental charity since it started in 1991.
Andrew is responsible for all aspects of business at Fera Science Ltd, which is now a joint venture partnership between Capita and Defra.
Charlie studied agriculture, trained as an agronomist and achieved BASIS and FACTS qualifications and began his career with UAM at Redhill in 1984.
Ian is an experienced executive in the life sciences and joined Innovate UK in October 2016 as Director for Health and Life Sciences.
Ian joined Innovate UK in March 2015 as Innovation Lead for the agri-tech Centres within the agri-food team.