Growing Kent & Medway Symposium on 20th October 2021

The first Growing Kent and Medway symposium will be held online, on the 20th October at 2-4pm.

Join us to learn more about the current agri-tech research being undertaken in the biotechnology hub and then take the opportunity to experience an in-depth virtual tour of the research facilities available within the Natural Sciences Division.

Who are Growing Kent and Medway?
Growing Kent & Medway is a world-class research, innovation and enterprise cluster supporting growth in technology-driven horticultural production, fresh produce packaging, food and drink processing, and its supply chains.

We bring together innovative growers and processors, scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs to deliver a shared goal of improving productivity and sustainability in the sector.

Symposium Virtual Event

14:00 – 14:10   Alessia Buscaino  –  GK&M intro
14:10 – 14:15   Lorraine Fisher   –  Recorded Research summary
14:15 – 14:35   Andrew Simkin  –  Research Summary
14:40 – 15:00   Helen Cockerton  –  Research Summary
15:05 – 15:20   Ian Brown  – Microscopy Facility
15:20 – 15:35   Kevin Howland  –  Bimolecular Science Facility
15:35 – 15:50   Gary Thompson  –  NMR Facility
15:50 – 16:00   Concluding Remarks & Questions

Join the GKM Symposium via the Teams link here.

What to expect from the event

Research Talks

The newly appointed industry research fellows will showcase their current research. Dr. Andrew Simkin will discuss his lab group’s work; manipulating photosynthetic pathways to boost crop yields and detail his expertise in improving the flavour and metabolite content of fruits and vegetables. Dr. Helen Cockerton will give a seminar about her lab group’s work investigating fungal diseases of horticultural crops, and present her work identifying important genetic alleles in octoploid strawberry. Furthermore, Dr Lorraine Fisher will give an overview of the relationship between post harvest crop responses and sustainable packaging. 

Facilities Talks

A series of talks will help you to gain an understanding of how your research can benefit from the advanced facilities present within the division. Ian Brown will detail the capabilities of the microscope suite, including examples of how confocal microscopy can be used to generate 3D images of living specimens. He will then detail the potential of electron microscopy in order to investigate the detailed structure of samples, ranging in size from living tissues through to macromolecular compounds. Kevin Howland will discuss the biomolecular facility, he will detail how he is able to separate out the molecules present in a sample through chromatography and then confirm the identity of individual components of a sample through mass spectrometry. Finally, Gary Thompson will detail how his nuclear magnetic resonance facility is able to determine the molecular structure of a material or compound.

Growing Kent and Medway has grants available ranging from £10 – £500K for research, innovation and development projects seeking to improve productivity and sustainability in the food and drink sector. This and future symposia will assist the generation of ideas and help to forge collaborations between academics, partner research institutes and the industry.

This event is key to accessing this new funding stream and will help you to determine how your work translates into the horticultural, food and drinks industry.