Food security to be focus of University’s new Centre of Excellence

Swansea University is launching a new virtual Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Food Production on Tuesday, September 30, which will have a focus on food security.

David Morris, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Head of Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Strategy, will give a keynote speech on the topic of ‘Setting Priorities and the Action Plan in Wales on Food and Agriculture’ at the Centre’s launch, at the Institute of Life Science 1 building.  

The creation of the virtual Centre, which crosses the University’s academic Colleges and with Medicine and Science at its core, will be led by the internationally renowned expert on food safety and poultry production, Tom Humphrey, Professor of Bacteriology and Food Safety at the University’s College of Medicine.

‌The establishment of the Centre demonstrates the University’s strong commitment to working with Welsh food and farming industries to improve economic performance by better combating disease, and producing research to underpin sustainable food stock intensification and welfare.

300 x 454The Centre aims to support the process of building research capacity at Swansea University to underpin food security and the bioeconomy.

This Centre of Excellence will:

•    Be open to all stakeholders in relevant industry sectors and Welsh Government bodies;
•    Place emphasis on fundamental world-leading bioscience, while highlighting areas of increasing and emerging importance, such as the sustainable intensification of agriculture and recognition of increased capacity in enabling technologies;
•    Seek funds from UK Government agencies, the EU and industry for infrastructure and research projects undertaking a mix of pure and applied research;
•    Provide a platform for collaborative research with stakeholders in Welsh industry;
•    Provide a platform for collaboration with PHW and other Welsh universities, UK, European and international collaborators;
•    Offer training to industry on disease control;
•    Hold meetings and symposia on food security open to all relevant stakeholders in Wales and beyond;
•    Provide advice and help on food security and safety for the Welsh Government and beyond.

Professor Tom Humphrey said:

“The creation of the virtual centre will allow my colleagues in Swansea and me to work closely with the food and agricultural industries in Wales and beyond to improve sustainability, animal welfare and food safety”

Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said:

"I am delighted that Swansea University is to host the Centre for Excellence for Sustainable Food Production.  As a research-led university, we are at the forefront of developing solutions to global problems. This Centre will bring together researchers from across subject disciplines to tackle the pressing challenge of food security."

Speakers at the launch event include:

Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor, who will open the event;

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Strategic Development and External Relations, who will Chair;

Professor Tom Humphrey, Professor of Bacteriology and Food Safety, Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Group, College of Medicine;

Andy Cureton, Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council;

Professor Sarah O’Brien, Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food;

Professor Guy Poppy, Chief Scientific Adviser and Nina Purcell, Director Food Standards Agency Wales;

Alec Kyriakides, Head of Product Quality, Safety & Supplier Performance, Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd.