Food Systems Institute welcomes inaugural director

July 3rd, 2023

Welcome to Jack Bobo, the inaugural director of the upcoming Food Systems Institute, which will strengthen Nottingham’s reputation as the only UK university offering research expertise and capabilities across the food system.  

The Food Systems Institute bring together researchers from across disciplines and work with industry and policymakers to deliver solutions to transform the food system, from production and processing, through to transport, consumption and waste.  

Mr Bobo’s experience spans international law, food and environmental policy and behavioural science. He joins the University of Nottingham from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), one of the world’s largest conservation organisations, where he led teams of policy professionals specialising in fisheries, agriculture and freshwater.

He previously worked as Chief Executive Officer at the food foresight company Futurity; Chief Communications Officer and Senior Vice-President for Global Policy at the synthetic biology Interexon Corporation; and Senior Advisor for Global Food Policy at the US Department of State. 

His breadth of international experience will enable the Food Systems Institute (FSI) to build on more than 100 years of University of Nottingham investment in food research and technology, and to effectively address food system challenges of the future.  

The Food Systems Institute’s initial research themes will focus on advancing climate adaptation and developing Net Zero food systems, understanding and improving community foodscapes, and addressing food insecurity and diet-related ill-health. FSI is engaging across the university to stimulate ideas and perspectives that can contribute to these research themes. 

Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Science, Professor Zoe Wilson said: “Mr Bobo is an esteemed thought leader whose devotion to food and agriculture research and knowledge transfer will benefit society and inspire generations to come. I am confident he will bring strong leadership and expertise to the Institute and to the university as we continue our work to invest in and grow initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of healthy and sustainable food systems.” 

The Food Systems Institute will be a leader in interdisciplinary research, analysing vulnerabilities and risks to the food system such as climate change, extreme weather, geopolitics, war and supply chain disruption; helping enhance livelihoods across the value chain by improving economic mechanisms and low-cost technologies; and addressing food insecurity and related ill-health through better nutrition and balanced diets.  

Director of the Future Food Beacon and Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, Andrew Salter added: “We are excited to add Mr Bobo’s leadership and vision to the university as we continue our work to contribute to more sustainable and healthy global food and agricultural systems.

“Building on the considerable investment made by the university in the Future Food Beacon, we will continue to use our growing research and education capacities, and outreach partnerships, to address the complex challenges we face in global food systems.” 

Find out more about the Food Systems Institute.

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