Feeding the world – how new technologies are shaping the farm revolution

21 February 2023


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Crop protection expert to outline new food industry advances in latest SCItalk

Food, foresight and the future of farming: do we need to revolutionise our food system? Wednesday 26th April 2023 16.00 – 17.00 (online)

The ongoing war in Ukraine has shown how conflict can affect global food supplies, but war is not the only factor when considering how we will feed a rapidly growing world population. In this free upcoming SCI (Society of Chemical Industry) SCItalk, taking place online on Wednesday 26 April, Syngenta’s Dr Dave Hughes will describe how agriculture has evolved over the last century and outline how our food supply will change over the decades to come.

With responsibility for new technology identification and evaluation at Syngenta Crop Protection, Dr Hughes will outline the major challenges facing our current food system in his talk and describe how it might be improved in the next 20-30 years. Business-as-usual will not suffice when feeding the global population, so he will describe the latest technological advances in response to the crisis.

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Syngenta Group is a global, science-based agritech company, with more than 53,000 employees in over 100 countries working to transform crop cultivation. Syngenta’s ambition is to help feed the world safely while taking care of the planet. It aims to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world-class science and innovative crop solutions.

Dr Hughes said:

‘My role is all about analysing current scientific landscapes and future potential trends to identify those areas of science and technology most likely to make a positive contribution to future food quality, productivity and agricultural sustainability. It is clear that these days collaboration is critical to effective innovation at scale, so an important part of my role is to identify the best partners with whom to work, so that together we can achieve outcomes that would not be possible for either partner working alone.’

After joining Syngenta in 1995 as a chemistry team leader, Dr Hughes later moved to head up a team of biochemists and molecular biologists investigating the biochemical mode of action of new pesticides. He has been in his present role since 2010. He studied Chemistry up to PhD level at the University of Oxford, UK, and later conducted postdoctoral research at Montana State University, US.

Sharon Todd, SCI CEO said:

‘SCI works to accelerate scientific innovation out of the laboratory and into industry to address societal problems. This year, we’ve been reminded that feeding the world’s population safely is one of today’s massive issues. Nothing can be taken for granted in future and SCI is proud that Dave Hughes will deliver such a forward looking talk. Via collaboration, a partnership approach and its Good Growth Plan, Syngenta is accelerating innovation for farmers and nature – and the world’s population. This is exactly the sort of progress SCI wishes to showcase.’

SCI’s free-to-attend series of SCItalks is a platform for the public to hear from some of the most high-profile voices in the science-using industries. The talks cover areas as wide ranging as climate change and nudge behaviour to agriscience and flavours and fragrances.


For more information, please contact Maxine Boersma on 07771563373 or Maxine.Boersma@soci.org

Notes to editors:

About SCI: where science meets business

SCI is a unique global multidisciplinary network connecting scientists, business people, students and other key players involved in science-based innovation. SCI promotes innovation via its international network to advance the commercial application of science into industry for the benefit of society.

SCI works across crucial sectors as diverse as food and bio-renewables, water, environment, energy, materials and manufacturing, and health and wellbeing.

For more information, please visit soci.org