Working with industry

Orange juice production The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading is recognised nationally and internationally for its research and teaching excellence. The School has close collaborations with industry along the food supply chain which has mutual benefit to teaching and research within the School, as well as to the companies and industries involved.

Collaborations with industry are particularly facilitated by a range of independently-funded research units within the School. These units have the capacity to undertake both research and consultancy for industry alongside the research undertaken by research divisions within the School. They include:

Biodiversity, Crops and Agro-ecosystems Research Division Economic and Social Sciences Research Division Food Production and Quality Research Division
  • Biomathematics
  • Centre for Dairy Research (CEDAR)
  • Nutritional Sciences Research Unit

Livestock Development Group

Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Research Unit (VEERU)

Walker Institute for Climate Change and Systems Research

Existing collaborations

Collaborations with industry are extensive and take a variety of forms including:

  • student visits to industry and industry speakers at the University - examples in 2007 include student visits to Mars, Pepsico, Thames Water and the Royal Farms at Windsor. Industry speakers to students have included staff from Lloyds TSB, The Co-Operative Farms, The Arable Group, etc.
  • annual events open to industry such as the the Edith Gayton Memorial Lecture, the Agricultural Club's Annual Conference.
  • one off events open to industry such as the Climate Change Impacts meeting.
  • collaborative activities such as those with the Food, Drink and Agriculture Group of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and the Tropical Agriculture Association.
  • student assignments for industry 'clients' - clients have included companies such as Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer, Northmoor Trust, Reading Borough Council and Reading-based Cracker Drinks.
  • industry sponsorship of higher degree by research students (or co-sponsorship with other funders).
  • numerous projects for agricultural industry organisations (often involving farmers) - recently these have included the Soil Association, Home Grown Cereals Authority and the Meat Livestock Commission. Cotswold Seeds Ltd, a partner in one of our EU research networks, organised a training day for higher degree students associated with this EU project.
  • research for major agricultural input supply and food companies and sharing of data and research findings.

The School is much valued for producing unbiased and independent research findings.

For more information about ways in which your company or industry can collaborate with us and the potential benefits to be gained, please contact the School Director of Enterprise, r.m.bennett@reading.ac.uk.

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