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Cranfield University and Produce World Win Top KTP Accolade

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Cranfield University and Produce World Win Top KTP Accolade

Cranfield University and Produce World Win Top KTP Accolade
November 19
11:44 2015

Cranfield University and the Produce World Group, one of the UK’s largest vegetable growers and suppliers, have won the RCUK Research Base Impact Award at this year’s prestigious Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Awards.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme linking commercial organisations with academic institutions to help support and shape the future of British business. It is funded by Innovate UK, along with 12 other public sector partners, and aims to strengthen the competitiveness, wealth creation and economic performance of the UK by enhancing knowledge and skills, and stimulating innovation through collaboration.

Produce World and Cranfield University have been recognised for their work to establish a Soil Information Management System ‘Soil-for-Life®’ (SfL) which allows the company to map, assess and monitor soils across the business. The system, developed with Cranfield’s expertise in soil science and database design, allows Produce World to improve its use of soils to optimise soil fertility, match crops to soil type, and therefore improve marketable yield of vegetables and the sustainability of its farming business.

Soil-for-Life® drives continuous improvements in crop production resulting in direct increases in marketable yield and operational efficiencies. SfL is underpinned by the emergent, innovative and interdisciplinary field of ‘agri-informatics’, whereby statistics and database management techniques are used to exploit knowledge held in multiple ’big data’ sets.

Dr Robert Simmons, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Soil Management at Cranfield University, says: “It is a real privelege to be recognised for our work with Produce World. Through working together we have gained a greater understanding of UK horticulture production systems and the key soil management challenges faced by UK agri-business.”

Guy Thallon (pictured), Head of Research, Development and Innovation at the Produce World Group, comments: “At the Produce World Group we have continued to integrate Soil-for-Life into our Responsible Sourcing programme. We are also continuing to develop the technology. A new three-year project with Cranfield will allow in-depth analysis and exploration of ‘big data’, and provide scientific evidence to support sustainable intensification and maintain soil health at a field, farm and Group level.”

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