New research project to detect early potato diseases gets £675K funding boost

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Dr Barbara dos Santos Correia has received the funding boost to tackle food waste
Dr Barbara dos Santos Correia has received the funding boost to tackle food waste

Related tags: Research, Food waste

Agri-tech company B-hive Innovations has received funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to lead a research project, which will detect early potato diseases and defects before they hit supermarket shelves.

Research scientist Dr Barbara dos Santos Correia has been successful in her application for a Future Leaders Fellowship and will receive nearly £675k to support her TuberSense project. The four-year research programme that aims to detect diseases and defects in potato crops, using volatile biomarkers and innovative gas sensors to reduce food waste across the supply chain.

The project will help to establish a framework for crop disease prevention and precision detection from farm to fork by developing new gas sensors that will have a high impact of reducing crop waste and increasing food safety.

Research activities

 “I am delighted to have secured this UKRI funding with B-hive’s support. This funding will support our latest research project, which can transform the agri-food industry,” said Dr Barbara dos Santos Correia. 

“We’re incredibly eager to commence our research activities with our project partners – Branston Limited, UWE Bristol, Warwick University and the James Hutton Institute. Our TuberSense project will help to identify emerging climate-driven and disruptive diseases that affect potato farming and storage across the UK and create innovative decision support tools based on volatile sensing.”

Challenging research

The Future Leaders Fellowship is a highly competitive and flexible scheme that supports ambitious and challenging research and innovation and provides training and career development, to maximise the leadership potential of talented early career researchers.

UKRI chief executive, professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “The new Fellows announced today will have the support and freedom they need to pursue their research and innovation ideas, delivering new knowledge and understanding and tackling some of the greatest challenges of our time.”

B-hive Innovations is an Agri-tech R&D business based in Lincoln. B-hive develops innovative technologies for fresh produce industry to increase marketable yield, better crop utilisation, adding new value and reducing food waste in the supply chain.

Related topics: Fresh produce, Technical

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