Developing partnerships between industry and academia is essential for researchers to share knowledge, develop new skills, and enhance the understanding of each sector’s needs and capabilities. Key industrial contacts are being embedded into the School of Life Sciences through their appointment as Honorary Professors to advance collaborative research and innovation in areas of strategic importance.
Building collaborations with industrial partners enables academic researchers to gain vital insights into the needs and commercial opportunities within industry, and brings together collective knowledge and expertise to bridge the gap between fundamental and applied research.
Gaining input from colleagues in industry at an early stage helps researchers to design projects that address gaps in the existing knowledge or provide solutions to real-world problems. In order to build sustainable long-term relationships with international companies, the School of Life Sciences is embedding key industrial contacts in the research community through their appointment as Honorary Professors.
The School’s first honorary appointment is Dr Ian Puddephat, Senior Director for Agro Discovery & Sustainability at PepsiCo. Dr Puddephat brings a unique combination of managerial and business acumen, together with detailed understanding of the research underpinning plant agri-tech development. His extensive experience is facilitating the advancement of strategic planning and cross-discipline team building within our Plant and Crop Science research theme to ensure that we capitalise on the full breadth of fundamental and applied research. Dr Puddephat’s expertise in the food supply chain is informing the design of our research projects through ensuring that we tackle challenges that are of relevance to the industry and contribute towards addressing the global issue of food security.
Developing strategic partnerships with key industrial collaborators through honorary appointments is ensuring that we remain at the cutting-edge of research and innovation, through offering fresh perspectives and the exchange of people, knowledge and skills.
We plan to make additional honorary appointments, which will form the basis of long-term relationships and fruitful research collaborations.
Prof Laura Green (Head of School) and Dr Ian Puddephat.