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06 December 2010
A leading University expert has been awarded two prestigious EU grants to help devise new tools to promote and plan for more sustainable food production and consumption.
Dr Roberta Sonnino, School of City and Regional Planning, has been awarded two grants under the EU Seventh Framework Programme to enhance dialogue between academics, practitioners, policy-makers and civil society.
Professor Chris Webster, Head of the School of City and Regional Planning, said: "The two projects are placing the School and Cardiff University at the forefront of research on sustainable food systems.
"Their goal is to enhance the use of academic knowledge and research in the policy-making process. Impact is therefore potentially going to be very high and far-reaching, with universities and institutions from across thirteen different countries involved in the projects."
Another key University figure in sustainable food production and consumption, Professor Kevin Morgan, School of City and Regional Planning, will also be involved in the projects. He will further enhance the School’s advancement in this research area by organising and leading the first module in Europe on food planning.
The first grant of £425,000 is for a Marie Curie Initial Training Network project, entitled Peri-Urban, Urban and Regional Food Dynamics (PUREFOOD).
The project will create the first ever international training network on urban and regional food dynamics, and will turn the School into a global training centre for scholars and planners in the field of sustainable food development. The grant will also enable the School to appoint two Early Career Researchers who will do a PhD on public food procurement.
The second grant provides £140,000 for the School to coordinate a work package on urban food strategies – a brand new research area that has been pioneered through ongoing research by Dr Sonnino and Professor Morgan.
The School has already received funding to recruit six PhD students working on food and sustainable city-regions from the University’s flagship President’s Research Scholarships.
Dr Sonnino added: "These grants have provided a very important platform for us to start building capacity in this research area and attract international attention around our work.
"With the arrival of the two Marie Curie fellows next year, the School will have one of the largest PhD communities doing research on food in the world."
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