Food security focus for major research and teaching initiative

editorial image
0
Have your say

Global agriculture and the future of the world’s food supplies are to be the focus of a new research and teaching initiative based at the University’s Easter Bush Campus.

The University of Edinburgh’s new Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security will be led by Professor Geoff Simm, who is currently Vice Principal Research at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

“Food security is about ensuring a supply of safe, nutritious and affordable food, for all people, at all times.”

Professor Geoff Simm

It will provide a hub for teaching and research into issues that affect global food and environmental security, sustainable rural development, and the wellbeing of animals and people.

Based in the University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the Academy will also draw on expertise from the Schools of Medicine, Biological Sciences, Geosciences, and Informatics.

In addition to world-class research, the Academy will offer undergraduate and postgraduate training, educational activities and resources. The goal is to equip future leaders with the skills and knowledge required for the global challenges ahead through a range of world-leading interdisciplinary educational and research programmes.

Professor Simm will oversee the establishment of the Academy as a vehicle to deliver global impact on some of the greatest challenges facing humanity.

He led the SRUC input to the joint Research Excellence Framework submission with the University in 2014, which ranked top for research power in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science.

He takes up the role of Assistant Principal and Director of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security on 1st of October 2016.

Professor Simm said: “Food security is about ensuring a supply of safe, nutritious and affordable food, for all people, at all times. This is a massively complex challenge, with health, environmental, economic, political, cultural and behavioural, as well as agricultural, dimensions.

“The university and partners can make even greater interdisciplinary, academic contributions, across many schools and existing Global Academies, as well as having global practical impact.

“I look forward to leading the new Global Academy to be a catalyst for these contributions in future, delivering excellent science in global agriculture and food security, promoting translation into practice through education of future leaders, and through collaborative research and knowledge exchange.”

Professor Argyle, Dean of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: “Formation of this Global Academy represents a major investment by the University and is pivotal to the strategic direction of the campus. We are delighted that Professor Simm has agreed to lead this important initiative.”