The UK Food Safety Research Network connects food industry, food and health policymakers and academia to collaboratively pursue shared research priorities that will protect the UK from foodborne hazards.
The network is hosted by Quadram Institute funded by BBSRC and the Food Standards Agency and serves as an innovation hub to coordinate and fund cross-sectoral research and training activities that address current and emerging challenges.
The network’s objectives are to:
- assemble a community of UK food producers, food policy makers and scientific researchers who collectively can take robust actions toward improving food safety
- identify areas of research need and opportunity that, in the view of food stakeholders and network members, will have meaningful impacts on UK food safety
- coordinate new collaborative research activities that will promote the application of science towards the food safety challenges identified by our food system community
- host training to promote skills development, interoperability and relationship-building between our food system community
- translate the knowledge generated within the network to food safety stakeholders, and to upcycle existing information and technologies relevant to food safety that have not yet been applied more broadly
We have had significant feedback from partners across the food chain and this has prioritised three key areas for collaborative projects within the Network:
- Reducing microbial risk of known pathogens
- Understanding risk of alternative proteins and new plant based foods
- Applying food safety knowledge and new tools to ready-to-eat foods
Current Funding Opportunity – Seeding Award
The FSRN Seeding Award is a rapid call for short-term projects and can be used to enhance an ongoing activity or to prime for a future project. The network invited application for cross-sector and cross-disciplinary projects centered around current food safety challenges and opportunities.
£475K is available in this call and we anticipate funding a portfolio of awards at different sizes and scales, focused on a variety of opportunities.
Applications for the funding closed on 14 November 2023 and the funded activity must be complete by 16 February 2024.
First Call for Proposals and Expressions of Interest
Projects following the first call have been selected and funded by the Network to address real-world challenges to food safety.
The projects include developing rapid diagnostic tests and hi-tech biosensors for detecting food pathogens across the farm-to-fork chain; novel ways to combat threats of microbial contamination of fresh, minimally-processed foods, seafoods as well as raw pet foods; and provide a better understanding of microbial communities in the farming of crickets as a sustainable protein source.
Training and other workshop events that are affiliated with the UK Food Safety Research Network or hosted by Network members and partners:
- PATH-SAFE & The Food Safety Research Network Showcase, 18 May, 13:30 to 15:00
- Thermal processing conference, Campden BRI, Chipping Campden, 14-15 June
- Microbes and Food Safety Bioinformatics Hackathon, Cambridge, 1-3 May 2023
- Sustainable Food Systems in the Face of Global Human-made Catastrophes
- Innovate UK KTN – Phage Innovation Network launch event
- Bacteriophages as Alternate Antimicrobials Innovate UK KTN
- 8th Microbial Bioinformatics Hackathon,
- Impacts of weather and climate extremes on the UK food chain
Key Resources from Network Partners
- Sustainability Knowledge Hub
- Microbiological Analysis – Key Considerations
- Horizon Scanning Report on impacts to the food sector in the next 3 years
- Food Safety Guidance for Directors
- IFST webinars and other events
If you are interested in finding out more about the network please complete the form below