Cranfield University hosted its first Agrifood Industry Engagement and Careers event recently to promote the close links between academics, industry experts and potential students.

Dr Angel Medina Vaya, Senior Lecturer in Food Mycology at Cranfield, headed up the event. He said: “Bringing these two groups of people together, and showing them the fantastic Agritech facilities that we have here at Cranfield, will hopefully encourage future collaboration to combine current expertise with pioneering research and fresh thinking to drive the future of the industry.”

During the morning of the event, industry representatives were invited to hear the possible ways to engage with Cranfield from the University’s Research and Innovation Office and tour the campus’ Agrifood laboratories and Agritech facilities. Delegates were also presented with success stories from companies who have worked closely with Cranfield though Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, (KTPs), providing research project subjects for students and offering internship placements.

Guillaume Daverdin, Molecular Breeder at Edward Vinson Ltd. presented the benefits of having worked with two Cranfield students on a live project. He said: “Today’s event has been beneficial to meet with new students for upcoming projects at our company, but also to connect with others in the industry. Working with Cranfield has been pretty crucial for our projects, as they can provide an expertise that we don’t have.

“We have been involved in several projects with Cranfield, and are pleased to offer students an insight into a private company. It is a very good experience, which I would have loved as a student and I would encourage other companies to explore similar collaborations.”

The later session, which focused on promoting careers and areas of study within Agrifood, was open to current and potential students looking to start or progress a career in the field. Delegates were invited to a presentation from the University’s careers service before exploring different career paths in Agrifood, such as KTPs, PhDs and direct entry roles.

Benjamin Ababio, who is currently studying a Future Food Sustainability MSc at Cranfield, attend the event. He said: “This event has enabled me to connect with worldwide industrial players that are well-tailored to my studies. It is my dream to work in the UK once I have completed my master’s and today has helped me to plan that future career.”