The North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative at North Carolina State University is set to welcome its first executive director, Adrian Percy, the organization announced this week.
The North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative, or N.C. PSI, is a research and innovation effort seeking to address, and solve, pressing challenges in agriculture.
Percy joins the organization from UPL, a multinational agrichemical company, where he served as Chief Technology Officer.
“NC State is so fortunate to have recruited Dr. Adrian Percy—one of the most recognized agricultural leaders in the world—as the inaugural Executive Director of the N.C. PSI,” said Richard Linton, dean of NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in a statement. “Adrian has a keen understanding of the strategies needed to promote agricultural innovation and a dedicated interest to translate this scientific information to farmers and the agricultural industry. Our college and university look forward to working with him to solidify North Carolina and NC State as the global hub for plant science innovation.”
According to its statement, the organization “uses interdisciplinary, team-based research to address major challenges intersecting agriculture and society, such as making the world’s dwindling farmland acreage more productive to feed a rapidly growing population—and developing new varieties, technologies, and practices that help growers adapt to droughts, pests, flooding, and other effects of climate change.”
The organization will also have a new facility on Centennial Campus, which according to a statement, will house state-of-the-art instrumentation and spaces to conduct research, such as 25-foot greenhouses, core labs specializing in mass spectrometry, and machinery to sequence plant, microbes, and other living organisms.
“NC State is so fortunate to have recruited Dr. Adrian Percy—one of the most recognized agricultural leaders in the world—as the inaugural Executive Director of the N.C. PSI,” said Richard Linton, dean of NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). “Adrian has a keen understanding of the strategies needed to promote agricultural innovation and a dedicated interest to translate this scientific information to farmers and the agricultural industry.”
Percy noted in a statement that he believes North Carolina is “a key hot zone” for innovation in agriculture, and that the N.C. PSI may become the central hub for advancing agricultural technologies, research, and innovation.
“North Carolina’s Research Triangle houses one of the most significant agricultural technology ecosystems on the entire planet,” said Percy. “The Plant Sciences Initiative can be at the heart of that ecosystem, effectively bringing agribusiness, ag-tech startups, investors, regional development agencies and other academic institutions together to serve growers in North Carolina and beyond. We have all the elements in place to make that happen.”
Percy also noted in a statement that North Carolina’s agricultural sector, which is already among the largest in the nation, can still grow and expand, and that such growth may increase economic opportunity and vitality in rural communities.
“First, we make farming more profitable by providing new science and technology that will maximize their production and address issues that hinder their success,” Percy said. “Second, companies that wish to expand their operations or to relocate here to be involved in partnerships with the Plant Sciences Initiative will be a source of new jobs. And third, more students from rural areas will have the opportunity to be part of this high quality research facility.”
His first day at N.C. PSI will be November 1, according to a statement issued by the organization.
“NC State is making strategic investments in interdisciplinary research teams to tackle society’s grandest challenges,” said Dr. Warwick Arden, executive vice chancellor and provost at North Carolina State University. “Society and agriculture are facing challenges which threaten both our food security, our economic development and our environment and we need bold visions and actions to solve these.”
Original Source: WRAL TechWire