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Posted 20 July 2009

UCD and AFBI agreement to enhance all-island research and training in agri-food and veterinary science

The Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland and University College Dublin have signed an agreement to consolidate their research and teaching expertise in agri-food and veterinary science.

“This agreement will unify the complementary expertise of University College Dublin and AFBI, both of which hold pivotal positions in the agri-food and veterinary science spheres on the Island of Ireland,” said UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady. “The all-island dimension to this agreement is extremely important not only for furthering the knowledge society in both jurisdictions, but for ensuring that the best scientific advice is brought to bear on relevant policy decisions both North and South.”

Pictured far right: Dr George McIlroy, Chief Executive, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute and Dr Hugh Brady, UCD President, sign the agreement at UCD

“The safety of the food we eat, animal health and welfare, the agri-food industry, the next generation of veterinarians, veterinary scientists and agri-food scientists, will all directly benefit from this agreement.”

According to AFBI and UCD, the agreement will also lead to increases in innovations including: Intellectual Properties and Licensing that will be developed through the synergies of AFBI and UCD.

UCD currently plays a leading role in the fundamental understanding of disease mechanisms in humans, animals and plants, and how these discoveries can be translated into innovative ways of supporting industry and society. Drawing on strong disciplines in agrifood, biology, chemistry, and in animal and veterinary sciences, the university has also developed major capacity in areas such as energy, and the environment. Food security, product safety, competitiveness and sustainability are also among the particular scientific strengths at University College Dublin.

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Chief Executive, Dr George McIlroy, said during the signing ceremony at UCD, “The world-class scientific expertise and facilities that both of our institutes bring to the table can only enhance the value of the work that we undertake for the agri-food industry, here on the Island of Ireland.”

“I am delighted to be able to formalise our collaboration with University College Dublin and I believe that this memorandum will deepen the relationship between the two organisations, assisting in pooling our collective resources in the areas of agri-food and veterinary science research.”

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute provides research and development, analytical and diagnostic services, and scientific advice in agriculture, food, animal and plant health, marine and fresh water ecosystem management and the agri-environment. The Institute prides itself on the quality and breadth of our scientific expertise and maintains appropriate quality assured accreditation standards. AFBI has various national and international reference laboratories. It maintains a cutting edge skills and technology base to fulfill its statutory obligations including provision of rapid, scientific response capabilities for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and other Northern Ireland Departments during emergencies.

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