The Royal Agricultural University enters into partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London

11 July 2023

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and Royal Holloway, University of London, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to collaborate on science and agriculture research projects and develop knowledge exchange opportunities, as well as sharing teaching and outreach expertise.

The MoU will enhance the knowledge of both institutions through Royal Holloway’s world-renowned research in biological science and with the RAU as one of the UK’s leading agricultural universities for sustainable farming and land management.

This complementary expertise will help to develop solutions for the practical challenges in agriculture and horticulture which will enhance the impact of food security research at both Royal Holloway and the RAU.

The partnership between the two institutions is the brainchild of Chongboi Haokip, a Horticultural Specialist at Royal Holloway, who previously completed her MSc in International Rural Development at the RAU.

Chongboi, from the School of Life Sciences and the Environment at Royal Holloway, said: “Our new partnership is very exciting for the University. Royal Holloway’s research in biodiversity decline and climate change across biological levels, from genes to landscapes, will work expertly alongside RAU’s extensive agriculture-led studies.

“Both approaches are much needed to create a real impact in the design of sustainable and resilient landscapes and over the years to come, we will connect other disciplinaries, such as humanities, which will be linked to Cultural Heritage studies at RAU.

“Together, we will be stronger in the fight against climate change and all the numerous problems it brings to people from across the globe.”

RAU’s facilities include Farm491, one of the UK’s leading AgriTech incubators and innovation spaces, as well as experimental farmland, while Royal Holloway provides expertise in molecular analysis at the genetic and biochemical level.

All this will complement RAU’s current analysis of annual harvest, soil biology, and soil health, while offering Royal Holloway an opportunity to apply its work within a real agricultural setting.

Professor Peter McCaffery, Vice-Chancellor at the RAU, said: “Food security, soil health, biodiversity loss, and landscape restoration are global challenges, and we are delighted to be collaborating with Royal Holloway, University of London in a new partnership aimed at addressing them.

“Our strengths and expertise are complementary – Royal Holloway in fundamental science and RAU in agricultural applications – and together we will develop sustainable solutions that make a real practical difference on the ground that will also be of mutual benefit to us both.”

Vice-Chancellor and Principal at Royal Holloway, Professor Julie Sanders, added: “It is always very exciting to have new partnerships and collaborations with other universities, where we can share our knowledge and facilities to find impactful solutions to global challenges.

“RAU has incredible facilities and expertise that Royal Holloway will be able to benefit from and, with our renowned research in the field of life sciences, a remarkable partnership has been created.”