March 26, 2018

Waitrose CTP Annual Conference

By Roz Wareing

Waitrose CTP students, supervisors and board members attended the 2018 Waitrose Science Day, held at Scarman House. University of Warwick. The students battled snow and wind to attend our first annual conference event at the end of February.

On the first afternoon the students participated in a training workshop ran by colleagues from the Centre of Eco Innovation (CGE), Laura O’Keefe and Zoe Detko. Laura and Zoe are ex PhD students and currently work on the CGE project as Innovation Fellows. They discussed the benefits of an industry focused PhD, and the challenges involved with the collaboration with academia and industry. The workshop also taught the students varying methods of engagement for different audiences.

For the second and third day the students attended the sessions organised by the Waitrose Science Day. There were a range of presentations from academia presenting their area of research and the CTP projects based at their institutes. Emma Garfield from G’s delivered an excellent presentation to the potential industry partners, willing them to get involved with the CTP. Emma focussed on the huge benefits and opportunities a PhD student can provide to their host company.

The students had an opportunity to engage with our industry colleagues during evening poster reception. Each student showcased a poster about their project and delivered talks to other academics and industry.

The last morning allowed opportunities for industry and academia to discuss research interests and ideas for PhD projects. The discussion groups related to several areas of interest; Water, Soil Biodiversity, Pesticides/IPM and Protected Crops. The CTP hopes to see these ideas flourish over the next few months awaiting the next call of project proposals and we look forward to the next student training event coming up in the summer.