Why I am excited about this Collaborative Training Partnership?

By Carly Stevens

There are lots of reasons why we enter our chosen professions but for a lot of scientists working within the field of environmental science a big motivator is that we want to ‘make a difference’. We know that we aren’t going to single handily save the planet but we would like to achieve something that changes how things are done, whether it is policy or practice on a large scale or a small one, we want to have some kind of impact. That is what really excites me about the Waitrose Agronomy Group Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP), it offers an amazing opportunity to make a difference.

Within academia there are an increasing number of opportunities to work with industry but even in that context I believe our CTP offers a unique opportunity. Companies and academic institutions are working in close collaboration to develop projects that address the needs of the companies involved and the companies will continue their involvement throughout the projects by offering supervision and placements. This makes it likely that ideas that come out of the projects will be put into practice by the companies who developed them. But, as a training partnership we offer an even more exciting opportunity which is the present projects and results on a regular basis to the wider supply base. This is actually quite a rare opportunity for scientists and I am looking forward excitedly to the Waitrose Science Day conference in February when the first cohort of PhD students will present posters outlining their projects.

From my own perspective I have had an excellent experience of working with Waitrose and through them I have been able to make connections with other companies; I am currently working with Barfoots and Primafruit. Through these projects and the students working on them I hope that I will be able to make a difference.