Technology Strategy Board admits ornamentals 'out of scope'

Technology Strategy Board (TSB) head of development Paul Mason has admitted that ornamentals are unlikely to be funded in its call for collaborative R&D in crop protection.

Speaking at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Science & Technology in Agriculture, Paul Mason explained ornamentals did not meet the scope of the TSB Agri-Food Innovation Platform.

During the meeting chaired by former Defra minister Jane Kennedy on 1 December, Mason said: "I rather suspect we'll not be accepting bids from the ornamentals sector. Ornamentals are not really within scope because the focus of the programme is on food."

Mason said there was nothing to stop ornamentals growers benefiting from research findings,however, if there were overlaps.

Lowaters Nursery managing director Ian Ashton told HW he was appalled. "We are going to keep pushing them," he said.

East Malling Research head of science Chris Atkinson, Horticultural Development Company (HDC) chairman Neil Bragg and National Horticultural Forum chairman Andrew Colquhoun also shared their concern and disappointment.

The issue of levy funds being used as match-funding was raised by Lord Selborne. For the full story see HW magazine on 4 December.

 

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