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Are you interested in developing innovative sustainable agriculture research projects?

Sustainable Agriculture Research & Innovation Club (SARIC) sandpit
8-9 March 2016, Park Inn, Nottingham

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC), is a partnership between industry, NERC, BBSRC and ESRC launched in June 2014. The Club will invest £10M over 5 years to support innovative projects that will provide solutions to key challenges affecting the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the UK crop and livestock sectors, with a focus on water and nutrient related issues. 

The Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and NERC invite you to participate in a two-day interactive strategic workshop (sandpit*) with the ultimate aim of funding up to six multidisciplinary research translation projects within the remit of the Sustainable Agriculture Research Club (SARIC).

  • Applicants must register their interest to participate and will receive a formal invitation confirming attendance.
  • This is a SARIC event and therefore all proposal ideas developed during the sandpit must fall within the remit of SARIC and its two key challenges.
  • Specific business issues in need of addressing will be posed by SARIC industry members ahead of the sandpit.
  • Participants will be expected to present a project idea as part of a multidisciplinary team to an expert panel on the final day of the sandpit.
  • Sandpit participants will have the opportunity to submit a full research translation proposal through Je-S in early May 2016.
  • For those invited to attend, reasonable costs for travel and accommodation will be met.

SARIC industry members have identified the following topics or questions that could be suitable for development into a research translation project:

  1. Solutions for measuring and managing soil health across crop rotations.

  2. Provision of robust management information on below-ground components of cropping systems to optimise rooting and the root environment.

  3. Development of a visualisation tool which integrates remotely-sensed and in-situ data to deliver tangible benefits for agriculture and the wider environment.

  4. Development of a Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) population advisory tool that provides robust advice on management options.

  5. Development of technologies to monitor animal weight, thereby optimising nutrient supply and improving efficiency of production.

  6. Development of a real-time portable technology for the on-farm assessment of actual nutrient digestibility in livestock.

  7. Provision of decision-support on organic slurry storage and treatment techniques to enhance nutrient use efficiencies.

These topics and questions will be described in depth at the sandpit itself.

Registration for this event will close on 26 February 2016.

For more information, please visit


* A sandpit is an intensive, interactive and free thinking workshop event, where a diverse group of scientists, from a range of disciplines, come together to immerse themselves in an exciting collaborative thinking process. 

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