I recently visited the Norwich Research Park (NRP), home to four world-leading research institutes – the John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Quadram Institute, and Earlham Institute. With over 30,000 people and 115 companies based at the park, it is a crown jewel of Norwich and Norfolk, confronting some of the world’s most significant challenges.
Norwich Research Park is doing pioneering work on health and well-being through their research on food and genomics. They are also leading the way in looking at how we can adapt to and mitigate some of the effects of the climate crisis.
At the John Innes Centre and the Sainsbury Laboratory, I heard about the latest research on food security and climate change. I also visited the Earlham Institute and met PhD students, researchers and technical staff to discuss food security and sustainable agriculture.
Some of the crucial work done by NRP addresses the major challenge of food shortages. I was told that in the next 50 years, to feed our population, we will need to produce more than we have ever managed in our lifetimes.
At the Quadram Institute, I heard about the research and the range of models used in the Institute to investigate how interactions between food, microbes and the gut affect health. How we manage our food supply and respond to a new era of climate volatility is one of my interests in Parliament. Which is why I have initiated and secured an inquiry on food security at the Environmental Audit Committee, which will take place in the New Year.