UK: HIP takes a ’HAPI’ co-ordinating role

The Horticulture Innovation Partnership (the HIP) was formed in 2013 to stimulate innovation in the UK horticulture and potato supply chain and will take the lead in the coordination of HAPI. It will bring academic researchers and industry together to deliver improved yields of better quality fresh produce through more sustainable farming practices.

The fresh produce sector is an important component of the food security equation which must enhance its competitiveness and resilience by increasing production, reducing waste and improving sustainability.

HAPI supports research projects on these crops with a total value of £7m funding. The initiative addresses these challenges through pre-competitive, innovative and excellent science, forging productive networks and knowledge exchange and will be coordinated by the HIP’s Mark Tatchell and David Cole in conjunction with BBSRC.

Tatchell said, “HAPI provides new opportunities for a forward looking sector to engage with research. Leading-edge science has translated into important industry innovations over the years. HAPI should foster a new injection of knowledge for growth when rapid scientific advancement is coinciding with unprecedented challenges for producers.”

“The close engagement between the HIP and HAPI will help build a science community doing work of direct relevance to the industry. Through this closer engagement it should also hasten the translation of results into practice to drive growth."

The HIP which was launched in March this year, won the competitive tender from BBSRC to coordinate HAPI. The HIP will stimulate high quality research applications which benefit the supply chain and address the broader aims of HAPI through its networks to bring researchers, knowledge transfer and the commercial supply chain together. It will improve the flow of basic science to business, fostering knowledge transfer and pathways to impact. Involvement in HAPI is an important component of HIP’s role in unlocking barriers to the impact of innovation, bringing benefits for business growth and to society.

David Cole of the HAPI Coordination team said “HAPI offers researchers an exciting opportunity to develop new knowledge and tools which can help the fresh produce industry respond to the special challenges of the 21st century. This is opportune at a time when new funding mechanisms are coming into place to bring science closer to the industry.”

The first round of HAPI-funded projects has been approved and the call for second round projects will open on 13 January 2014. A consortia building workshop will be held in London on 20 January 2014 to promote the first call.

For further information and to sign-up to the workshop visit www.bbsrc.ac.uk/hapi 

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