Development & Alumni Relations Office 


24 November 2016

Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) is to play a key role in EIT Food, a new international partnership which aims to tackle the growing challenge of feeding the world’s ever-increasing population.

The IGFS has secured the partnership through the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which will also enable the partners to access up to €400m in funding.

The Queen’s Institute is now part of a new Knowledge and Innovation Community, EIT Food, a large-scale public-private innovation partnership of 50 leading companies, universities, and scientific partners, covering the entire food value chain. 

The Institute will be a key participant in the FoodConnects consortium and will deal with major food issues affecting the world, including cutting back on food waste and coming up with a healthier diet for society.

Over the next seven years, the partners will invest close to €1,200 million matched with up to €400 million, financed by EIT. The partnership, which is a major achievement for Queen’s and the Institute, will contribute substantially towards economic growth across the agri-food sector. The news comes just five months after Queen’s unveiled the foundation stone for a new £39 million School of Biological Sciences, which will house the Institute.

Professor Chris Elliott, Queen’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, and the former director of IGFS (pictured above right with the new Director, Professor Nigel Scollan), said: “The role of Queen’s in this very large research and innovation award is going to be substantial to the University and to the entire Northern Ireland agri-food sector.

“This project will bring huge economic benefit to the whole agri-food industry within Northern Ireland, which already generates more than £5.5 billion in sales each year and is our biggest employer by far, with some 80,000 people working in the industry.

“Through the partnership we aim to tackle some of the global challenges of our age, including feeding the world’s growing population and delivering a much healthier diet in Northern Ireland, across Europe and the world – this is one of the biggest societal problems we face.

“Queen’s is already renowned for our food safety, traceability and world-leading education programmes. This partnership will reaffirm our global reputation for excellence in food security, education and research.”

The large-scale initiative, which will be headquartered in Belgium, is leveraged by five co-location centres based in Leuven, Munich, Reading (UK, Ireland and Iceland), Warsaw and Madrid.

EIT Food works with a large group of network partners and will be very active in Central and Eastern European countries, including Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia.

Media inquiries to Emma Gallagher, Communications Officer at Queen’s on +44 (0)28 9097 3087.Twitt



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