Sustainability, Natural Resources and Food
Food production is central to the economy of the Eastern Arc region, and our universities work closely with independent institutes in this area, including the Quadram Institute, John Innes Centre and East Malling Research (NIAB-EMR). We also focus on the wider issues of logistics and the supply chain, of trade, transport and consumption.
However, our research goes beyond our region, and has a significant impact internationally. Such a focus comes at a crucial time for the global community: the UN has indicated that, after decades of steady decline, world hunger has slowly been on the rise since 2015. An estimated 821 million people in the world suffered from hunger in 2018. At the same time, obesity continues to increase in all regions of the world.
However, food needs to be seen in the wider framework of how we use natural resources, how we manage biodiversity and how we ensure sustainability. Understanding how we interact with our natural environment is a significant strength for Eastern Arc, from the climate research within UEA’s Environmental Sciences, to Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology and Essex’s recently established flagship interdisciplinary focus on environment, sustainability and society, as well as the Essex Plant Innovation Centre.
To find out about who is leading our work in this area, and what we are currently doing, follow the links below.
Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash
Each of our strategic themes is led by academic champions who come from a range of disciplines across the Eastern Arc universities.
To find out about the thematic champions for Sustainability, Natural Resources and Food, as well as their colleagues in the other themes, click here.
Within this theme, we have already started to map our areas of commonality; some of these are already listed in our ‘Communities of Common Interest’.
In addition, we are working to develop projects and programmes within the theme, and are currently working on opportunities around the UK’s food system, natural capital, and wider issues of biodiversity and climate change. In the past these have resulted in such programmes as our Aries DTP.
We have also provided a number of small grants to colleagues working on pilot projects and workshops, and have hosted information events and discussions that encourage engagement with external funders, as well as briefing on what’s on the horizon. For the full list of current events, together with recordings and slides from previous ones, go to our dedicated webpage.
If you work in this area, you may want to see what funding opportunities are open and available to you. In partnership with Research Professional we have set up a live list of current calls and schemes.
Research Professional holds an exhaustive list of all the research and innovation funding opportunities available to those working in the UK.
Included in the list are all opportunities with a closing date of more than two months away, with a value that is either £20k or more, or hasn’t been specified.
This is available to all those who work at our universities. You can either login with your institutional account, or set up your own individual one.
To view the full list, click here.
There are a number of ways of getting involved with Eastern Arc, and we’ve set out some of these here. They include:
- Identifying and working with collaborators on projects and funding bids;
- Reading briefing notes on current issues affecting our region and our universities;
- Engaging with the public through our popular podcast series;
- Being mentored through our cross-institutional mentoring scheme.