Allen Moore (Right), Associate Dean for Research & Knowledge Transfer in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter and Adrian Belton, Chief Executive of Fera, look at a student's display of insect samples.

University forges stronger research links with Fera

The internationally recognised research expertise of the Biosciences department at the University of Exeter and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) will now work in closer collaboration following a new agreement.

A Memorandum of Understanding has this week been signed between the two organisations which will promote the exchange of expertise and knowledge.

Fera is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It works to support and develop a sustainable food chain, a healthy natural environment, and protect the global community from biological and chemical risks.

The agency has already worked extensively with the University’s Biosciences department – which has internationally-recognised expertise in biodiversity, food security and environmental research.

Previous collaborations include looking at badger ecology to better understand TB transmission, bat migration to understand the risk of rabies entering the UK, and establishment of new techniques for evaluating biodiversity.

The new partnership will see even closer links formed to carry out research, teaching and develop strategy.

Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Exeter, said: “We’re very excited to be forging closer links with Fera. Working in collaboration enables us to produce world class research that can genuinely benefit everyone from farmers, to businesses, the public, and the environment.

“There are many issues where we share common objectives and we look forward to further world class research collaborations. The research carried out to date has had undoubted impact which is really significant in the context of the Cornwall economy.”

Adrian Belton, Chief Executive of Fera, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Exeter. We are already closely aligned with the University’s Biosciences Department and I look forward to the benefits that our working together will bring to key areas such as food security and environmental protection, both in the UK and abroad.”

Collaboration between the two organisations will cover a range of activities, from combined research projects to sharing facilities.

Date: 9 December 2010

Read more University News