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Contributing to Society through partnerships: Translational Funding Morning 2017

last modified Mar 02, 2018 01:24 PM
On Thursday the 20th of July, the second Translational Funding Morning was held at The Sainsbury Laboratory. This was a very informative and effective morning aiming to increase understanding about translational and innovation funding schemes that can unlock cross-discipline opportunities, support knowledge exchange and enable academia-industry collaborations in plant sciences, food security, animal health and conservation.

Around 80 participants from a multitude of disciplines were represented and opportunities were considered at a national, European and Global level.

Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations, started the morning highlighting how crucial partnerships are for a successful delivery of the University of Cambridge mission, which is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. The importance of co-design and co-production with partners whilst developing research grants were a common theme during the first session 'Funding in the UK'. There are many resources and tools available to help develop the winning grant proposal: Adam Staines, from BBSRC, emphasised the BBSRC Industrial Clubs and the new BBSRC Agri-Food framework, which focuses on areas such as: reducing waste, sustainable agricultural systems, safety and nutrition and crop and farmed animal health. Chris Danks from KTN told us about the Industrial Strategy Research Fund and how the Knowledge Transfer Network can help find expertise, markets and advise on funding and finance in Innovate UK grants. 

The 'Global Opportunities' session included EU opportunities, the new EIT Food project, in which Cambridge plays a major role and of course the Newton Fund. Renata Schaeffer, from the Research Office, showed that the University’s participating in EU grants continues to increase and that there are many new possible opportunities. Claire Goldstraw showed how the Newton Fund and GCRF are complementary using different mechanisms: it is all about ‘One ODA research’! The Global Challenges Research Fund was of major interest, very timely aligned with the new University Global Challenges Forum and with the recent announcement by the Minister of State for Universities and Sciences, Jo Johnson, of two major research collaborations in Cambridge, one in India led by the Global Food Security Strategic Research Initiative (GFS SRI) and the other focusing on public health in Bangladesh.

The morning ended with the 'Elevator pitch' session, chaired by Professor Howard Griffiths, co-chair of the GFS SRI, who emphasized the importance of collaborations between life and social sciences as well as the involvement with businesses that can lead to changes on social attitudes and impact on the changing climate and therefore on food security. The Cambridge Centre for Crop Sciences (3CS) (collaboration between the University of Cambridge and NIAB) is another example of linking farming with food industries to translate research into real world impact. This session brought together academia, small and global companies such as Bayer, Pepsico and Unilever, all aiming to contribute positively to society through partnership and sustainable research and innovation. A portfolio of high impact opportunities was presented followed by a lively networking environment.

Thank you to all that so actively participated and we look forward to support the outcomes of this day.

See you again sometime soon!


Slides of the talks can be found here and a storify of the day can be seen here.


Relevant Funding Links:


KTN – Knowledge Transfer Network

Innovate UK

EIT Food

The Newton Fund

Global Challenges Research Fund


The translational funding morning was co-organised by: