IPP-CAAS group discussion

CABI bursary: seconded Mariya Iqbal and Gareth Dicks from CABI UK with CABI knowledge tool users from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the MARA-CABI Joint Laboratory for Biosafety in Beijing.

A strength of CABI is its work on a global scale addressing global and local problems in agriculture. CABI can rely on its network of experts among various CABI centres, laboratories, project offices in many countries and world regions. To maintain this strength, a CABI Development Bursary was created to aid new experts to visit other CABI centres.

This year, CABI UK-based Gareth Dicks from the Product Development team and Mariya Iqbal from the Plantwise Knowledge Bank team visited CABI East Asia as well as the MARA-CABI Joint Laboratory for Biosafety in Beijing.

During two weeks in September, Gareth briefed local education partners on CABI’s recent developments in novel learning tools in the area of agriculture. He also learnt more about strengths and challenges of the CABI’s knowledge tools from a user perspective, such as Chinese scientists, students and agricultural experts who use CAB Direct and the Crop Protection Compendium. His improved understanding of the Chinese users and the China market will aid improvements of CABI tools and may create new collaboration in the near future.


Mariya and Gareth have a conversation with Prof Bai Ming at the Institute of Zoology of Chinese Academy of Sciences on recent image recognition progress (Photo: by Hongmei Li/CABI).

Mariya became heavily involved in Plantwise China activities, such as exchanging experiences with IT and plant protection experts behind Chinese plant clinic data management systems. She contributed with her knowledge on such systems from other Plantwise countries as well as from a Knowledge Bank perspective.

It is hoped that both young experts gained experiences from their secondment, improving their collaborative work across CABI and with local partners. Such secondments will further improve CABI’s international development work to the benefit of local partners and final beneficiaries, such as farmers.

Dr Min Wan from CABI East Asia said, “The CABI bursary is a nice way to build personal contacts between CABI experts as well as local partners. This will definitely improve our cross-CABI work and project outcomes.”

Neil Macintosh, HR Director at CABI, said, “We have been running the CABI Development Bursary for over 10 years and is designed to promote and support professional, technical or career development secondments from one CABI Centre to another – exactly as described here.”

Additional information

Find out more about Plantwise and the Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

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