Producers urged to support industry bid for slice of £90m fund

The opportunity to access Government funding to establish a Centre of Innovation for the pig and poultry sectors was prersented to producers at this year’s British Pig & Poultry Fair.

With £90 million of state funding available under a new Government strategy, producers were invited to help shape a bid for securing funding that could propel the industry to dramatically evolve, putting it ahead of its competitors.

At a special forum session held at this year’s event, the technical director for Primary Diets, Paul Toplis, outlined his concerns that the industry risked becoming a spectator.

“If we don’t encourage applied science that has practical applications, we’re at risk of being left behind,”he said. “A Centre of Innovation would allow ‘solution led’, collaborative research that focuses on the demands and needs from within the industry, allowing producers to overcome its challenges.”

Calling on producers to make their voice heard on the opportunity, he outlined that access to the funding depended on the industry stepping forward and making committed contributions.

“It’s up to us all to get involved and have our say,” he said. “We’re in the driving seat to set out an agenda for a Centre of Innovation. It’s a unique opportunity not to be missed.”

Dr David Parker who chaired the positive debate, concluded that decisions needed to be made quickly to take advantage of this potential funding.

“To compete effectively in the global market, we need our UK industry to advance and grow,”he said,  “and we now have the chance to facilitate that based on applied science with real practical implications.”

Anyone interested in joining the discussion and showing their support for the initiative can sign up at: www.pigandpoultry.org.uk/agritech-forum/. The next step is a meeting of interested parties.

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