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CambPlants Hub

A networking organisation for plants-related research and impact

Twenty early-career Cambridge University researchers, agronomists and farmers have visited Bayer’s Chishill Research Farm as part of the Young Innovators Forum.

YIF Bayer 1Bayer is the latest member of Agri-Tech East to host the Young Innovators Forum. The Forum was first established in 2014, reflecting a desire and need to ensure greater and more effective communication between the researchers of the future of plant science and future farmers. Through a programme of events, the Young Innovators Forum encourages industry entrants to learn about each other’s priorities for the food and farming sector, working together to develop a strong network of professionals who are the future leaders of the industry.

The visit to Chishill Research Farm started with an open discussion followed by a tour of the Research Farm about what balancing profitable farming with environmental stewardship really looks like and how we strive to achieve this balance moving forward.

“When we first started the programme of events, we were unsure about how well early career researchers would engage with the local young farmers clubs, but the fact that every time we host an event we have to find a bigger venue, and lengthen the networking time, demonstrates how hungry these future leaders of our industry are for shaping the future.”

Coordinator of the Young Innovators Forum, Becky Dodds of Agri-Tech East is delighted by how popular the Forum has been since its creation in 2014.

Alice Turnbull from Communications and Government Affairs at Bayer explained: “After attending the Agri-Science conference in March, which was co-hosted by the Young Innovators Forum and NIAB TAG, it was a pleasure to invite this group to our Research Farm to continue the much-needed discussions on how young people can tackle the challenges facing our industry. The growth and success of the Young Innovators Forum is a testament to the drive and enthusiasm of the next generation of food providers in the UK.”

Activities like this forms part of Bayer’s commitment to agricultural education, through its FarmEd programme, she says. “Helping young people into farming and the wider industry, and providing them with the tools to be successful is going to be critical to the future success of the industry in producing food in an affordable, safe and sustainable manner in the future.”

Other activities in Bayer’s FarmEd Programme include a global Youth Ag-Summit discussing food security, the Bayer / FACE Awards championing farmers including educational activities on their farm, and funding training of teachers on how to incorporate food and farming into their teaching programmes.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the Bayer is a Life Science company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture. With our innovative products, we are contributing to finding solutions to some of the major challenges of our time. The growing and increasingly aging world population requires improved medical care and an adequate supply of food. Bayer is improving people’s quality of life by preventing, alleviating and treating diseases. And we are helping to provide a reliable supply of high-quality food, feed and plant-based raw materials. We develop new molecules for use in innovative products and solutions to improve health. Our research and development activities are based on a profound understanding of the biochemical

processes in living organisms. Our goal is to achieve and sustain leadership positions in our markets, thus creating value for our customers, stockholders and employees. To this end, our strategy is designed to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing humankind, and by doing this exceptionally well we aim to strengthen the company’s earning power. We are committed to operating sustainably and addressing our social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen, while at the same time respecting the interests of all our stakeholders. Employees with a passion for innovation enjoy excellent development opportunities at Bayer. All this goes to make up our mission: “Bayer: Science for a Better Life.” For more information, go to

About the Young Innovators Forum 

Designed to help farmers and scientists understand more about each other’s worlds, the Forum organises free to attend, informal events in the lab and the field aimed at helping bridge the gap between research and production.

Farmers welcome more opportunities to interact in a meaningful way with scientists, as well as having input into the research process and to understand what research is being undertaken. For their part, scientists are mandated to demonstrate the impact of their research and be better connected with the end-users. In many cases, a gulf exists between the research and producer communities, particularly in terms of vocabulary, culture and understanding each other’s’ drivers and challenges.

Through Agri-Tech East’s Young Innovators’ Forum, kindly sponsored by The Morley Agricultural Foundation the Forum aims to tackle this among the promising young leaders of the future from the research and grower communities in the east of England. CambPlants acts as the conduit for Cambridge researchers to participate in those events.