“Collaboration and innovation in research, development and knowledge exchange are integral to the future enabling of a sustainable, profitable and expanding horticulture and potato industry.” Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington at the Horticulture Innovation Partnership launch.
The landscape for growth and innovation within UK horticulture is set to be unlocked following the launch of a new collaborative industry group, the Horticulture Innovation Partnership (HIP), which held its inaugural event at Defra’s Nobel House on Thursday 7 March, 2013.
Bringing together key representatives from across the horticulture and potato research and knowledge community, as well as the commercial supply chain, the HIP was established following a series of round table discussions led by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington, on the future of UK horticulture.
These discussions identified the need for a collaborative network to provide the conduit needed by industry to address technological and commercial barriers preventing business development and to facilitate collaboration.
Sir John Beddington said, “The horticulture and potato industry makes a significant contribution to the nation’s economy, jobs, food security, nutrition, health and well-being. To expand and grow, the industry needs continual innovation underpinned by research - the Horticulture Innovation Partnership will act as the ‘think tank’ horticulture needs to achieve this.”
The HIP will be led by a Steering Group of industry representatives and will drive its ambitions via three coordinated work streams, each with a key mission:
- ‘Funding Innovation’ to ‘navigate the funding landscape to increase innovative research and development ‘
- ‘Growing Science’ to provide ‘a gateway to global science’
- ‘Improving Business’ for ‘Identifying opportunities to grow UK horticulture’
Chair of the HIP, Mary Bosley, said, “We need greater engagement across the industry if we are to meet the technical requirements of the future. The launch of the HIP marks a significant step for the Horticulture and Potato industry. By joining forces the research and knowledge community and those in the supply chain can achieve that goal. We have received tremendous support and encouragement from many organisations and today is the launch pad for our future work together. I am delighted to be chairing this exciting industry initiative and encourage and welcome others to get involved.”
Also contributing to the HIP launch were Neil Bragg, Chairman of the HDC, Lord de Mauley who spoke on the need for innovation for growth, as well as representatives from the horticulture and potato supply chain including grower representatives, Will Sibley a nurseryman and Chairman of East Malling Trust, Marion Regan of Hugh Lowe Farms, Gordon Flint of Winchester Growers Ltd. and Rob James of Thanet Earth. Simon Bowen, Technical Director of the Solanum potato operation at Produce World and Judith Batchelar Brand Director of Sainsbury’s also spoke at the event.
For more information and updates from the Horticulture Innovation Partnership, visit www.hip.org.uk or follow @UK_HIP on Twitter.