A summer of outreach for CHAP

From industry trade shows and conferences, to hosting facility tours and the AGM, the CHAP team has been filling the summer calendar with proactive in-person outreach and engagement.

“It’s not quite business as usual, but it’s as close as we’ve seen since the pandemic began,” said Head of Marketing and Communications, Janine Adamson.

“Because CHAP is a network builder and collaborator, engagement is a huge part of what we do. We’ve been very lucky in that our online activity has been very successful, but returning to meeting in person has certainly given a welcomed different dimension to our outreach.”

Summer on the road has included a wide range of activities, including taking CHAP’s show stand to industry events Cereals and Groundswell. Team Innovation also took a trip to GreenTech in Amsterdam, to share news of innovative hydrogel substrate project, Gelponics.

The team has re-opened the doors to partner facilities, co-hosting tours at the Vertical Farm Development Centre, Advanced Glasshouse Facility and Natural Light Growing Centre (NLG). This included taking those who attended the AGM around the NLG, and inviting them to partake in taste testing tomatoes, peppers and other fresh produce.

It’s been non-stop at the NLG, including welcoming an international cohort from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The tour was followed by a presentation from CHAP member Muddy Machines, and also PCI Technologies.

Activity has even been taking place in the Capital, with Innovation Director Dr Ruth Bastow presenting evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, to help unlock the potential of science and technology within the industry.

Also internationally, when Dr Jenna Ross OBE chaired the 7th International Congress of Nematology in France, presenting on SlugBot alongside project partners Small Robot Company and A V & N Lee, and Innovate UK.

Finally, the team partook in visits to some of the country’s leading plant science-related attractions – the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project. These trips provided an opportunity to draw parallels between CHAP and work taking place beyond the agricultural sector.

Mrs Adamson added: “The future remains relatively uncertain in regards to covid-19 and the impact on long-term working practices.

“We intend to continue with in-person interaction where possible and appropriate, backed up by a programme of engaging online activities. This way we can respectfully meet the needs of all of our stakeholders and contacts across the country.

“Regardless of the format, engagement will remain at the heart of what we do. It’s just been a real pleasure to be on tour again.”

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