May 15th, 2015 @ 1:50 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
In California, we are in the fourth year of a severe drought and already seeing an impact on agricultural production as farmers are letting fields go fallow because they have no water. It will take new creative collaborations to solve these and other big food-related challenges facing the world.
I was delighted to talk about this and related issues at a “Future of Food Summit” panel discussion Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. The event was sponsored by the global affairs magazine Diplomatic Courier and Mars, Incorporated, our partner in the new UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health.
When we launched the new Innovation Center and our World Food Center (WFC), we said we would work with partners to leverage our expertise as the number one university in the world for agricultural scholarship and research.
Working with Mars and other non-traditional partners in the search for big-impact breakthroughs in food and public health will allow us to achieve milestones none of us could do alone.
The same is true of our recently announced partnership with the government of Chile, which chose UC Davis to collaborate in establishing the UC Davis Life Sciences Innovation Center in that country. With a $12 million budget its first three years, the center will foster collaborative work among experts from UC Davis and Chile. We have worked with Chile since 1963 on grape growing, wine making and water management and this takes our collaboration to a new level. Because agricultural conditions in Chile and California are so similar, research breakthroughs achieved in one region can have a similar benefit in the other.
UC Davis’ expertise is also highly sought after by partners in China, where the country faces enormous challenges in feeding and nourishing its people. Last year, for instance, we signed a memorandum of agreement that lays the groundwork for establishing the Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety in China.
We know that collaborative and inter-disciplinary research is the most effective way to tackle big problems like global food security and feeding and nourishing a world population projected to reach 9 billion by 2050.
I am excited about these new unique collaborations and about the great results and opportunities they can produce for our faculty and students and for California and the rest of the world.