The University of Gloucestershire is a public university based in Gloucestershire, England. It is located over three campuses, two in Cheltenham and one in Gloucester, namely Francis Close Hall, Park and Oxstalls.The university is traces its history back to the Mechanics Institute of 1834 and the Cheltenham Training College, established in 1874 by the Reverend Francis Close. In October 2001, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education was awarded University status.The university offers over 120 undergraduate courses and around 70 taught post-graduate courses within three faculties; Media, Arts and Technology, Business Education and Professional Studies, and Applied science.A 10-year Memorandum of Understanding exists between the University, Gloucestershire College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College to support access to higher education. Wikipedia.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.5-03 | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2013
General objective of the project is to integrate advancement in scientific knowledge about the impact of food chains with application of knowledge to practice to increase food chains sustainability through public policies and private strategies. This general objective will be pursued through the following specific objectives: To develop and validate a performance criteria matrix for assessment and comparison of food chains operating at a range of geographical scales through analysis of how food chain impacts are communicated in different spheres of society. To build a database of quantifiable indicators of impact and a set of 20 case studies aimed at understanding how impacts are generated within specific food chains. To advance knowledge on methodological problems and trade-offs arising when measuring and comparing the impact of food chains within and between sectors. To assess how performance is perceived by stakeholders in different national contexts through participatory assessment and multicriteria analysis of the different typologies of food chains. To assess the actual and potential role of public and private policies addressing food chains and to turn assessment into policy recommendations. To build a network that turns the advancement of scientific knowledge into decision making tools for domestic and public consumers, producers, citizens, scientists, policy makers, civil society organizations. The project will be developed around the following assumptions: Costs and benefits analysis needs methodological update: for this reason the broader concept of performance is used The performance of food chains has multiple dimensions (economic, social, environmental, health, ethical) To turn knowledge into practice a demand-driven approach is necessary, focusing on how food choice affects the five dimensions of impact The complexity of impacts of food chains requires plurality of methods and transdisciplinarity
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ISIB-01-2014 | Award Amount: 3.01M | Year: 2015
EUs agricultural and forestry land provides a wide range of public goods (PG) and ecosystem services (ESS) on which society depends, yet land use decisions and society often under-value these . PEGASUS will develop innovative, practical ways of making PG and ESS concepts accessible and operational: it will identify how, where and when cost-effective mechanisms and tools for policy, business and practice can most effectively be applied, increasing the sustainability of primary production in pursuit of the EU2020 vision of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Recognising that the appreciation of PGs is context-dependent, PEGASUS uses social-ecological systems as an analytical framework to explore systemic inter-dependencies among natural, social and economic processes. It will adopt participatory action research with public and private actors and stakeholders to better understand the range of policy and practical challenges in different case study contexts (localities, sectors, management systems, etc.). An EU-level spatially explicit assessment of causalities between socio-political and institutional drivers, different land management systems and multiple delivery of PG will be complemented by fine-grained analysis within the case studies, and comparative meta-analysis will be applied to develop an operational framework for mapping, valorising and determining what PG and ecosystem service (ES) provision is needed and feasible within particular territories and sectors. New data-sets, transferable methods and tools that are fit-for-purpose and sensitive to the plurality of decision-making contexts will be generated. By improving recognition of the social and economic value of PG, PEGASUS will promote improved and innovative approaches to their provision by businesses and communities, and highlight specific policy improvements. It will provide specific advances in CAP, forestry and other relevant policies, underpinned by strong scientific evidence.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.4-08 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2014
Many EU and nationally funded research projects in the fields of agriculture and forestry provide excellent results, but the outreach and translation of these results into field practices is limited. The overall aim of VALERIE is to boost the outreach of research by facilitating the integration into innovative field practices. The work in VALERIE consists of three major approaches. (1). Stakeholder-driven approach. Ten case studies set the central stage for the bottom-up approach of the project, aided by highly effective tools of web semantics and ontology. Cases are centred around a specific supply-chain, a farming sector or a landscape. The stakeholder communities (SHC) represent the natural networks engaged in innovation. They drive the process of articulating innovation needs, enabling the retrieval of precisely matching knowledge and solutions, and evaluating their potential in the local context. (2) Theme-driven approach. VALERIE retains six thematic domains that are at the heart of sustainable production and resource use. These six provide the back-bone for structuring the annotation and summarising activities, which in turn will provide a vast body of knowledge accessible via the Communication Facility (CF). (3) Knowledge disclosure. VALERIE will launch a Communication Facility (CF) for the EIP-Networking Facility. The CF supports communication amongst actors in the field and researchers. Next, it injects new knowledge into the innovation process, by enabling users to retrieve highly relevant (tailored-to-needs) information, based on their own vocabularies. In offering tools for communication, as well as content structured for efficient knowledge retrieval, the CF fuses the advantages typical of learning networks and linear modes of knowledge sharing. The CF will be set up, tested and integrated into the EIP-NF platform, as a generic infrastructure for use by fresh stakeholder communities, also beyond the life of the VALERIE project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-02b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.63M | Year: 2016
European crop production is to remain competitive while reducing environmental impacts, requiring development and uptake of effective soil improving cropping systems. The overall aim of SOILCARE is to identify and evaluate promising soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques increasing profitability and sustainability across scales in Europe. A trans-disciplinary approach will be used to evaluate benefits and drawbacks of a new generation of soil improving cropping systems, incorporating all relevant bio-physical, socio-economic and political aspects. Existing information from literature and long term experiments will be analysed to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessing performance of cropping systems at multiple levels. A multi-actor approach will be used to select promising soil-improving cropping systems for scientific evaluation in 16 study sites across Europe covering different pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. Implemented cropping systems will be monitored with stakeholder involvement, and will be assessed jointly with scientists. Specific attention will be paid to adoption of soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques within and beyond the study sites. Results from study sites will be up-scaled to the European level to draw general lessons about applicability potentials of soil-improving cropping systems and related profitability and sustainability impacts, including assessing barriers for adoption at that scale. An interactive tool will be developed for end-users to identify and prioritize suitable soil-improving cropping systems anywhere in Europe. Current policies and incentives will be assessed and targeted policy recommendations will be provided. SOILCARE will take an active dissemination approach to achieve impact from local to European level, addressing multiple audiences, to enhance crop production in Europe to remain competitive and sustainable through dedicated soil care.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-4 | Award Amount: 10.92M | Year: 2013
Although there is a large body of knowledge available on soil threats in Europe, this knowledge is fragmented and incomplete, in particular regarding the complexity and functioning of soil systems and their interaction with human activities. The main aim of RECARE is to develop effective prevention, remediation and restoration measures using an innovative trans-disciplinary approach, actively integrating and advancing knowledge of stakeholders and scientists in 17 Case Studies, covering a range of soil threats in different bio-physical and socio-economic environments across Europe. Within these Case Study sites, i) the current state of degradation and conservation will be assessed using a new methodology, based on the WOCAT mapping procedure, ii) impacts of degradation and conservation on soil functions and ecosystem services will be quantified in a harmonized, spatially explicit way, accounting for costs and benefits, and possible trade-offs, iii) prevention, remediation and restoration measures selected and implemented by stakeholders in a participatory process will be evaluated regarding efficacy, and iv) the applicability and impact of these measures at the European level will be assessed using a new integrated bio-physical and socio-economic model, accounting for land use dynamics as a result of for instance economic development and policies. Existing national and EU policies will be reviewed and compared to identify potential incoherence, contradictions and synergies. Policy messages will be formulated based on the Case Study results and their integration at European level. A comprehensive dissemination and communication strategy, including the development of a web-based Dissemination and Communication Hub, will accompany the other activities to ensure that project results are disseminated to a variety of stakeholders at the right time and in the appropriate formats to stimulate renewed care for European soils.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-19-2014 | Award Amount: 4.86M | Year: 2015
A good functioning of the European food system is key to deliver food and nutrition security for all Europeans. However, that system faces many economic, environmental and social challenges as well as opportunities following socio-economic and technological developments, that are not equally distributed throughout the EU. Future policymaking aiming at healthy and resilient systems needs to take into account this differentiation and diversity of approaches, which necessitate foresight activities that take into account both the development of important driving forces as well as the social and spatial diversity. Primary productionthat is agriculture, fisheries and aquacultureforms the foundation of the food system. Its structure and performance is influenced by various conditions shaped by both the public and the private sector. As economic agents, primary producers aim at generating a sufficient amount of income, but their financial conditions are highly dependent on public and private actors, such as government regulators (including the EUs agricultural and fisheries policies), the financial sector, suppliers, the food industry, retailers, etc. In other words, the web of policy requirements as well as input and output market imperfections greatly shape farmers and fishermens livelihoods. Knowledge on the conditions of primary producers and the driving forces influencing these conditions exists, but in a fragmented way: not all primary producers and regions are covered, not all driving forces have been investigated, cross-linkages between them have been insufficiently analysed, future opportunities are not well integrated, etc. The purpose of SUFISA is to identify sustainable practices and policies in the agricultural, fish and food sectors that support the sustainability of primary producers in a context of multi-dimensionsal policy requirements, market uncertainties and globalisation.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: RUR-11-2016 | Award Amount: 1.99M | Year: 2017
The overall aim of AgriDemo-F2F is to enhance peer-to-peer learning within the commercial farming community. The project will utilize the experience of different actors and involve practitioner partners throughout the project to deepen understanding of effective on farm demonstration activities (multi-actor approach). In a first step, we will conduct a geo-referenced inventory of open commercial farms that engage in demonstration activities in Europe, detailing the sectors, themes and topics on which they provide expertise, and describe the mediation techniques they apply. Case studies will be selected to perform an in-depth comparative analysis. Important dimensions in selection are: 1) a wide-spread geo-graphical coverage within Europe, 2) representative for EU-agricultural sectors, systems and territories and 3) low tech versus high tech in mediation techniques. Case studies will be described, analysed and compared on 1) their network structure (actors, roles and governance characteristics), and 2) the mechanisms and tools used for recruitment, interaction and learning. Furthermore, effectiveness of the different approaches within the case-studies will be assessed through an evaluation of the extent and nature of learning. Both regional and international multi-actor meetings will use the results of the cross comparative case study analysis to i) identify a set of best practical approaches for both the on farm demonstration of research results (science driven) and the spreading of best farming practices among practitioners (innovation driven) and ii) recommendations for AKIS governance and policies on how to support effective on farm demonstration activities. The empowerment of both the commercial farming and policy community to uptake these best practices will occur through structuring the project results and farm demo showcases on the AgriDemo-Hub, an interactive, user oriented, web-map application.
Thompson P.M.,University of Gloucestershire
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2013
Assessments of the impact of offshore energy developments are constrained because it is not known whether fine-scale behavioural responses to noise lead to broader-scale displacement of protected small cetaceans. We used passive acoustic monitoring and digital aerial surveys to study changes in the occurrence of harbour porpoises across a 2000 km(2) study area during a commercial two-dimensional seismic survey in the North Sea. Acoustic and visual data provided evidence of group responses to airgun noise from the 470 cu inch array over ranges of 5-10 km, at received peak-to-peak sound pressure levels of 165-172 dB re 1 μPa and sound exposure levels (SELs) of 145-151 dB re 1 μPa(2) s(-1). However, animals were typically detected again at affected sites within a few hours, and the level of response declined through the 10 day survey. Overall, acoustic detections decreased significantly during the survey period in the impact area compared with a control area, but this effect was small in relation to natural variation. These results demonstrate that prolonged seismic survey noise did not lead to broader-scale displacement into suboptimal or higher-risk habitats, and suggest that impact assessments should focus on sublethal effects resulting from changes in foraging performance of animals within affected sites.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 162.88K | Year: 2016
The training-through-research project SOFIA - Situated Learning Opportunities fostered by ICT applications in Alternative Agro-Food Networks- aims at enhancing the researcher potential to make broad his horizons and support his career development. In the light of his research objectives he will acquire new knowledge and transfer that one previously developed to the host organization The SOFIA project will allow the ER to became a key facilitator of multidisciplinary research and innovation teams, applying his interdisciplinary competences in service design for innovation, thus ensuring an independent position to the researcher and his future employability in the academic and/or non-academic context. The research SOFIA aims to analyze innovative organizational models and explore the value of the use of ICT tools (e.g. ubiquitous mobile services) to increase Situated Learning Opportunities (SLOs) in an Alternative Agro-Food Networks (AAFNs), through two methodologies i.e multi-case study analysis of local food systems and rural areas and a web-survey of ICT tools for AAFN. The expected impact of the research is to define a set of reproducible methodologies, models, tools and technologies that can improve the competitiveness of a selected area, leveraging its potential in terms of materials and intangible resources. In addition, the study will aim to analyze ICT tools supporting the information flows management both for decision making and for operational processes in the identified collaborative networks. The researcher will carry out specific actions to disseminate project results and increase their fruitful exploitation, e.g.SOFIAs results will be exploited to draw up guidelines based on innovative organizational models, tools and ICTs to support the dynamics of sustainable development in local food systems and to design and develop Mobile services to support SLOs in AAFNs in order to improve mutual understanding and collaboration between value chain stakeholders.
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Knowledge Transfer Partnership | Award Amount: 104.97K | Year: 2015
To develop a future-proofed, multi-platform software solution to enable surveyors, designers, geologists and engineers to visualise, manipulate and extract - with some degree of automation - features and terrain models from potentially huge pointcloud datasets.