Global Agriculture

Seaweed feed researcher shortlisted for prestigious KTP leadership award

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07 September 2021, UK: David Beattie, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) researcher exploring how seaweed-based feeds can help achieve benefits in Scotland’s premium animal feeds sector, has been shortlisted for a Knowledge Transfer Network “Best of the Best Award”, in the Future Leader category.

KTP projects are designed to drive innovation for UK businesses and organisations. The Awards, held annually by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), shine a light on the most innovative projects.  

The Future Leader category, for which David has been nominated, celebrates the achievements of KTP Associates who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, recognising those who have surpassed expectations.

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It is well-known that seaweeds are eaten by ruminants in the wild. There is evidence of improved meat quality, health and digestion in animals fed with seaweed. David’s project aims to pinpoint the ideal seaweeds needed to provide an improved, high quality animal feed product.

By using only locally sourced UK seaweeds, David’s KTP also aims to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Environmental benefits would arise from reduced Greenhouse Gas (GHG) production both in transit and on farm. Furthermore, increased seaweed cultivation has the potential to contribute to the development of sustainable, UK based coastal supply chains.

David commented: “My KTP journey began in early 2019 as a Bioscience graduate. Back then I did not expect to be standing where I am now, however, I am proud that our efforts are getting the recognition I feel they thoroughly deserve.

“It is thanks to the KTP framework that we have overcame significant difficulties in our work through the global pandemic. By pairing the drive of a forward-looking company in Davidsons Animal Feeds with the tact and problem-solving capabilities of the James Hutton Institute, we have come through in a strong position to implement real change in our industry.

“I am grateful to be shortlisted as a future leader at these prestigious awards and I am excited to carry this project through to its final stages.”

Dr Gordon McDougall, a research scientist at the James Hutton Institute’s Environmental and Biochemical Sciences department and part of David’s KTP team, commented: “I am delighted that our project has been short-listed for this award, as only 2 % of the ~600 active KTP projects make it this far. This highlights the hard work of the team and David’s stand-out performance to drive this project from idea to potential reality.

“The next stages are to develop our prototypes into commercial scale products that can be delivered at scale through Davidsons and start to provide both economic and environmental benefits”

KTPs create a dynamic three-way partnership between a company, a talented Graduate (the KTP Associate who acts as the Project Manager) and an expert academic team – in this case, the James Hutton Institute through Dr Gordon McDougall, KTP associate David Beattie, and Gary Dow of Davidsons Animal Feeds.

The KTP Best of the Best Awards 2021 will take place online on Thursday 23rd September, 4:00 to 6:00pm, and will feature keynotes from:

  • Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Indro Mukerjee, Chief Executive of Innovate UK
  • Alicia Greated, Chief Executive of KTN
  • Richard Lamb, KTP Programme Manager at Innovate UK

For details on the finalists of the KTN Best of the Best Awards, read their press release

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