Knowledge Drives Agri-Food Economy says Teagasc Director
29 November 2007
The Teagasc foresight exercise, Teagasc 2030, is all about creating knowledge for the bioeconomy in the future. This detailed foresight exercise currently underway, aims to tease-out the possible changes and evolution of the agri-food sector from now to 2030 and the responses required from organisations like Teagasc.
Speaking at a conference in UCD, today, Thursday, 29 November, Professor Gerry Boyle, director of Teagasc said: “My overall aim is that Teagasc will place the agri-food sector at the centre of the knowledge economy. We must create new knowledge and transfer this knowledge to the farmers and firms working and innovating in the agri-food sector.” “This presents challenges for Teagasc. Given our role as a public institution we need to be flexible and responsive to changing needs and we need to be innovative in knowledge transfer to support the market innovation needs of farmers and firms. New models of knowledge transfer will be needed.”
Today’s conference, “Driving a Sustainable Agri-Food Sector”, was jointly organised by UCD, Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Teagasc is currently implementing its Vision Programme in research to create Centres of Excellence in Biotechnology. Professor Boyle said: “We are in the process of recruiting five Senior Principal Investigators to lead our new research vision programme and these posts are currently being advertised. These scientists will lead Teagasc’s research teams that will drive the programmes to create new knowledge for the sector in the future.”
“Given that today’s conference is here in UCD, I think it is appropriate to acknowledge the important role that our universities play, and will continue to play, in educating scientists to the highest level, equipping them to undertake agriculture and food research in organisation’s like Teagasc.”
“Inter and intra-institutional collaboration will become increasingly important. No discipline or institution has a monopoly on responding adequately to the needs of the sector we serve. Teagasc’s close links with Irish food companies through our stakeholders groups and joint programmes ensure our research is relevant. Our collaborative research programmes with other national and international academic and research organisations make sure that Teagasc is continuously striving to produce the most innovative research.”
The Teagasc Director continued: “We have drawn up detailed medium term roadmaps for each of the main enterprises which will drive the Teagasc agenda over the coming years. We are working to build the knowledge held collectively in the Irish agri-food sector.”