Two AFBI scientists, Prof Trevor Gilliland and Dr Rodrigo Olave, were among more than 130 delegates from the UK and China who attended the recent China-UK Agri-Tech Innovation Policy Roundtable and Forum events in Shaanxi Province, China.
They were initially supporting the DAERA Minister, Michelle Mcllveen, who was participating in the UK delegation in establishing a new collaborative agreement between the UK's innovation agency, InnovateUK and the China Rural Technology Development Center (CRTDC). After this event both AFBI scientists travelled more widely across China to meet with agri-food and environmental scientists and promote new AFBI research linkages with Chinese institutes.
At the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangling City, Prof Gilliland explained AFBI’s research experiences in applying precision research tools to solve problems faced by livestock farmers in Northern Ireland. This focused on common issues where Chinese and AFBI scientists could work in partnership in the future. Dr Olave explained how changes in land-use can be used to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from farming systems. This is an important environmental challenge in China as well as in Northern Ireland and so is a key area for collaboration.
The overriding purpose of this AFBI mission to China was to build active partnerships with Chinese scientists that will benefit the Northern Ireland farming industry. AFBI will now be seeking to win joint funding grants for research projects, to have more visiting scientist exchanges and joint postgraduate student projects, including hosting more Chinese students in Northern Ireland. Through this knowledge exchange between AFBI and Chinese scientists the ambition is to create novel solutions that enhance the efficiency of our local agri-food practices and lower the environmental consequences of our most important industry.
Notes to editors:
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