On the 21st and 25th of October GFS hosted two workshops to launch the new Strategic Priorities Funding call ‘Transforming the UK food system for healthy people and a healthy environment’. Across the two events the workshops hosted over 150 attendees, with representatives from business, civil society organisations, academics, government departments and the UK research councils. Workshops were held in Manchester and London and attendees travelled from all across the UK to take part.
The aim of the workshops was to inform academia and stakeholders of the aims, scope and background of the research call and to facilitate networking between academia and stakeholder groups to promote strong and successful applications to the funding call.
The mornings consisted of presentations to inform, set the scene and present perspectives on the challenge from different stakeholder groups. These presentations really got people thinking about the drivers for different stakeholders and their roles in research consortia. There were some words of wisdom gathered from previous experiences and a call for imagination to inspire and rally the room. There was then an opportunity for the room to ask questions sparking lively discussion over lunch.
The afternoon sessions were designed to facilitate networking and to provide opportunities to develop ideas collaboratively. Attendees were invited to deliver short elevator- style pitches to the room introducing who they were, what collaborations they were looking for or highlighting what they would bring to a specific consortium. Following this a series of round table discussions were held, where attendees were split into tables and asked to discuss questions relevant to the scope of the call. The workshop ended with refreshments and free networking time, to allow discussions to be continued and collaborations cemented.