The University of Lincoln has been honoured with the Queen's Anniversary Prize, the most esteemed national accolade in the UK for further and higher education.
This recognition is for the university's significant contributions to the UK's food and farming sectors through innovative research, education, and technology. The Queen's Anniversary Prize, established in 1994, is awarded biennially by the Sovereign on the Prime Minister's advice, following a thorough independent review by The Royal Anniversary Trust.
In the 15th round of this scheme, the University of Lincoln emerged as one of the 22 distinguished recipients. The formal presentation of the prizes is scheduled for February 2024. This award acknowledges the exceptional efforts of the university's Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology (LIAT), a specialised research centre dedicated to enhancing productivity, efficiency, and sustainability throughout the food chain, from production to consumption.
Professor Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, expressed immense pride and gratitude for receiving this prestigious honour. He highlighted the significant impact of the university's research and teaching on the UK's agri-food industries, valued at over £100 billion. He also emphasised the alignment of their research with the needs of key regional industries, fostering business growth and creating prosperous opportunities in communities across Greater Lincolnshire. He noted the remarkable achievement of LIAT, founded less than ten years ago, now recognised as a leading global centre in its field.
LIAT's multidisciplinary team comprises experts in various fields, including agriculture, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, engineering, crop science, environmental sustainability, food manufacturing, and supply chain management. They engage in globally significant research in collaboration with academic and industry partners.
Professor Simon Pearson, Founding Director of LIAT, remarked on the critical importance of sustainable, high-quality food supply for successful societies and economies worldwide. He stressed the need for improving productivity, efficiency, and sustainability in the global food chain, not only for business but also for maintaining food security.
"LIAT unites partners from the entire food ecosystem," Pearson explained, "including farmers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers, with world-leading researchers from various academic disciplines and institutions, to develop impactful, applied research and development for the agri-food industries in the UK and internationally."