Innovating agriculture

03 - 04 June 2024 09:00 - 17:30 Online Free Watch online
agricultural fields

This meeting will explore the agricultural science and innovation that is transforming the future of food and farming to meet rising production and environmental demands.

The agricultural sector needs to meet the challenge of producing more food to meet rising demand whilst also achieving environmental targets. This two-day conference will examine the science and innovation aiming to transform the future of food and farming.

The event will bring together stakeholders from across industry, academia, government and the wider agricultural community to address three key areas: increasing sustainable yields, improving input efficiency and developing novel food production systems. Panel discussions will consider how best to support and fund innovation in food and agriculture, and how to accelerate translation and take-up of new ideas.

Transforming our future conferences

This conference forms part of the Royal Society's industry-focussed Transforming our future series. These unique meetings feature cutting-edge science and bring together experts from industry, academia, funding bodies, the wider scientific community and government to explore and address key scientific and technical challenges of the coming decade.

Organisers

  • Professor Richard Flavell CBE FRS

    Richard Flavell is a plant geneticist who has focused much attention on traits important in crop plants.  In the last 5 years he has served as Chief Scientist in two companies in the USA. The first, Indigo, Cambridge, Mass. is an agricultural microbiome company. The second, Inari, is an agricultural plant genetics company. He is currently a consultant for companies and public sector organizations committed to plant improvement, including the International Wheat Yield Partnership. After his undergraduate degree in microbiology, his PhD in the John Innes Institute and the University of East Anglia he spent two years of postdoctoral research in Stanford University, California. He then joined the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridge UK where he built up a large Department of Plant Molecular Genetics between 1969 and 1987. He was then appointed as Director of the John Innes Centre (JIC), Norwich and to a chair at the University of East Anglia and oversaw a large expansion of JIC’s activities and impact. In 1998 he became the Chief Scientific Officer of Ceres, a young plant genomics company in California. This became a public company and was recently bought by a multinational agricultural company. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and a Commander of the British Empire for services to science.

  • Professor Charles Godfray CBE FRS, University of Oxford

    Professor Charles Godfray CBE FRS, University of Oxford, UK

    Charles Godfray is a population biologist with broad interests in science and the interplay of science and policy. He has spent his career at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London, and is currently Hope Professor of Entomology and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at Oxford. His research involves experimental and theoretical studies in population and community ecology, epidemiology and evolutionary biology. The two main current projects in his laboratory involve experimental studies of the interactions between aphids and their food plants, natural enemies and symbionts, and the control of malaria vectoring mosquitoes using novel genetic interventions. He is particularly interested in food security and chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government Office of Science’s Foresight project on the Future of Food and Farming and is currently chair of Defra’s Science Advisory Council. 

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    Dr Angela Karp, Rothamsted Research

    Angela Karp is Scientific Director of the Rothamsted Centre for Bioenergy and Climate Change. Her research focuses on optimising perennial biomass crops (especially willows) for bioenergy and biofuels.  Amongst many projects, Dr Karp is responsible for the UK willow breeding programme and also coordinated a RELU-Biomass project on the social, environmental and economic implications of increasing land use under energy crops. She now leads the BSBEC-BioMASS Programme - one of six research hubs comprising the BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre. In 2007 she received the RASE Research Medal and, in 2008, the Alfred-Toepfer prize for research achievements in willow. 

Schedule

09:00-09:05 Opening remarks
09:05-09:25 Opening keynote
09:25-09:30 Q&A

Chair

Professor Richard Flavell CBE FRS

09:35-10:00 Finding lost genes to boost crop yields and resilience
10:00-10:20 Carbon-based nanomaterials that boost photosynthesis and crop yields

Chair

Professor Richard Flavell CBE FRS

10:50-11:15 Animal and microbiome breeding to control emissions
11:15-11:35 Managing crop diseases to control epidemics
11:35-11:55 New tools to control diseases

Chair

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Dr Angela Karp, Rothamsted Research

13:00-13:20 Livestock

 

13:20-13:45 Plant-soil microbiome

 

13:45-14:05 Soil ecology

 

Chair

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Dr Angela Karp, Rothamsted Research

14:20-14:45 Soils - industry

 

14:45-15:10 Green ammonia
15:10-15:35 Plasma technologies for green ammonia
15:35-15:55 Robotics
16:25-17:15 Panel discussion

Chair

Professor Charles Godfray CBE FRS, University of Oxford

Professor Charles Godfray CBE FRS, University of Oxford, UK

09:35-10:00 Vertical farming/Glasshouse growing
10:00-10:25 Fermentation
10:25-10:50 Insects

Chair

Professor Charles Godfray CBE FRS, University of Oxford

Professor Charles Godfray CBE FRS, University of Oxford, UK

11:25-11:50 Cell-based meat substitutes
11:50-12:15 Alternative proteins
12:15-12:40 Social science and acceptability
13:55-14:00 Introduction
14:00-15:00 Panel discussion

 

15:30-15:35 Introduction to keynote speaker
15:35-15:55 Closing keynote
15:55-16:10 Q&A