The impact of science in a year of challenges

The Agri Food and Biosciences Institute’s (AFBI) response to supporting Government and Society in the fight against Covid-19 is just one of the organisations key achievements included in the AFBI Science Impacts 2021 publication that was launched at its virtual Science Outlook Conference.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 12:54 pm

Emergency response, specialist advice and monitoring and surveillance are key to AFBI’s mission of enhancing industry innovation and in response to last year’s societal emergency, AFBI’s animal testing and surveillance platforms were quickly re purposed and mobilised in May 2020 to assist the Northern Ireland Health Service in providing CoVID-19 testing.

Working closely with QUB, Almac and the Department of Health, AFBI’s quick response supported the clinical laboratories enabling the Northern Ireland CoVID-19 testing programme to meet the demand for testing over the past year.

At its core AFBI is committed to advancing the local and global agri-food sectors through scientific excellence and over the past five years it has delivered three million animal, plant and food safety tests in support of sales from the agri food industry to the value of £3.6 billion.

The booklet which is the fourth in its series reflects the broad spectrum of scientific research conducted by AFBI and its vision of leading improvements in the agri-food industry, protecting animal, plant and human health and enhancing the natural and marine environments.

Case studies include ‘Food Futures: using a holistic, multi-actor approach to enhance the sustainability of livestock production systems’ and ‘Science supporting new coastal development policy’.

Josephine Kelly, AFBI’s Acting CEO commented: “Against the backdrop of global and local challenges, the need for science has never been greater.

“AFBI is very well placed to contribute to meeting these challenges through our work which centres on our three key themes and the achievements noted in this booklet provide testament to these goals.

“Working in collaboration with industry, government, academic colleagues and partners spanning 35 countries, Science Impacts 2021 reflects the excellence of our scientists through their ability to conduct highly relevant applied science, addressing local needs but also making a scientific impact nationally and internationally.”

The publication is available on the AFBI website and the Science Outlook Conference 2021 can be viewed via the AFBI YouTube channel.