The launch of the Young Innovators' Forum (YIF) was a success. Last Wednesday, almost 100 farmers and Plant Sciences scientists met in an informal evening get-together in the Sainsbury lab to start what we hope is the first of many gatherings to build a cohort of committed young agri-tech professionals, with a strong relevant network and an ability to build innovation-based partnerships and communicate effectively beyond their own discipline. The programme was great, it included tours to the PGF (led by Uta Paszkowski) and the glasshouses (hosted by John Carr and Zhengming Wang). David Schoepfer and Emily Chillingworth showed the labs at Sainsbury and the Algal Innovation Centre was shown by Matt Davey to its first visitors. The farmer visitors showed a lot of interest - Emma Kelcher, from the Cambridgeshire young farmers club, who organised the farmer element of the YIF said they had never had turn-out as large as that, so it was great to see so much interest in learning more about the research in Cambridge. We are planning the next forum to be a visit to a farm. If you have a wish list of industrial places you would like to visit let us know, after all this is for you!
The YIF is the result of a partnership between Agri-Tech East, CambPlants Hub and the Cambridgeshire Young Farmers Club focusing on PhD students and post docs at the research organizations in the East of England, and the early stage career producers (such as the management trainees at the larger producer businesses, or those destined to take over the family holding).