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January - March 2011


Queen's University puts over 2,400 food scares under the microscope
World number one award for Queen’s academic
The China Management Research Institute
QUMS Open Days for prospective undergraduate students holding offers - register online
AS Level Taster Event proves a hit for local schools and colleges

Launch of China UK Entrepreneurship Competition
NI businesses to benefit from new China initiatives at Queen's
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Queen's University puts over 2,400 food scares under the microscope

As the increasing number food scares causes consumers to question the safety of everyday food items, researchers at Queen's University Belfast have completed the first ever analysis of all the food recalls announced in the USA, UK and Ireland over the last decade.

The research, by Dr Antony Potter at Queen's Centre for Assured and Traceable Foods (ASSET) identified 2,439 food recalls over the past ten years – including the recall of 380 million eggs in the USA in 2010 following a Salmonella outbreak at a farm in Iowa, and the 2008 pork recall in Ireland, which affect export markets in 21 countries around the world.

The research will be discussed during The Food Integrity and Traceability Conference taking place at the University this week (21-24 March). This international event, held in partnership with safefood, will showcase the latest developments in food safety and traceabilty.

Dr Potter said: "The number of food scares and product recalls has increased significantly in the past decade. Until now, however, there has been no international database to measure trends in food recalls.

"Our detailed analysis of recalls in the UK, Ireland and USA begins to help fill that gap. It outlines how the frequency and severity of recalls has increased over the past ten years, accompanied by significant financial implications for food producers. The 2008 pork recall in Ireland, for example, cost the Irish economy an estimated €125 million.

"Of the product recalls we identified, 68 per cent were detected during routine or spot testing by regulatory bodies, and only 21 per cent were detected by the company in question. Around one fifth (21 per cent) were in the meat industry, 12 per cent in processed foods and 11 per cent in fruit and vegetables.

"Most recalls (56 per cent) resulted from operational mistakes, such as incorrect labelling, the presence of an undeclared ingredient, or contamination during the production. While biological causes, such as the detection of Listeria, Salmonella and E Coli were also a factor, a significant number of food safety alerts were actually due to food fraud and corruption by suppliers further down the supply chain. This highlights the need for food producers to invest in ensuring the traceability of their products back through the supply chain."

Dr Potter is one of 40 speakers from more than 20 countries who will address The Food Integrity and Traceability Conference this week. Professor Chris Elliott from Queen's School of Biological Sciences has organised the conference.

Professor Elliott said: "Despite mounting evidence of the increasing levels of food fraud, and growing public demand for safe and authentic food, this is a topic that few in the food industry appear willing to talk about openly for fear of the repercussions for their brand.

"Food producers, however, should be reassured that major scientific advancements are being made to help detect food contaminants and minimise risks to the food supply chain. Scientists at Queen's are at the forefront of these developments, and we are willing to work with companies to put in place the latest techniques to detect and deter food fraud. And many of these techniques will be discussed during this week’s conference."

The conference is jointly organised by Queen's and safefood, the North-South body responsible for the promotion of food safety on the island of Ireland. Dr Gary Kearney, Director, Food Science, safefood said: "The increase in the number of food scares since the early 1990's has had a negative impact on consumer confidence in the food supply chain. To restore confidence and allay consumer concerns, it is vital that new scientific methods are developed which can detect harmful toxins early in the production of food, thereby facilitating appropriate containment measures and ensuring consumer protection.

"This conference will highlight the latest scientific methodologies for controlling food safety hazards as well as the challenges to providing robust food traceability systems. These and other issues are essential to the provision of safe food and protecting consumers on the island of Ireland."

Among the conference highlights will be Professor Garry Lee from the University of Western Australia and TSW Analytical P/L, who will present a new traceability system being trialled in the Australian pork industry and its lessons for the UK and Ireland pork industry following the Irish pork contamination scare of 2008.

As the demand for organic food continues to grow, Dr Simon Kelly from Defra's Food and Environment Research Agency will present some of the latest techniques in determining the origins of food and whether or not those labelled 'organic' are truly organically produced.

Owen Brennan, Managing Director of Belfast-based agri-technology company Devenish Nutrition, will discuss the controversial EU ban on GM crops and its negative impact on ensuring a sustainable EU food production system; while Professor Peter Shears from the University of Plymouth Law School will speak about the lack of resources being invested in the fight against food fraud.

For more information about The Food Integrity and Traceability Conference, or to register online visit www.qub.ac.uk/asset2011

Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke at Queen's University Communications Office on +44 (0)28 9097 5320 or email anne-marie.clarke@qub.ac.uk

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World number one award for Queen’s academic
David Gibson
David Gibson

An enterprising academic from Queen’s University Management School has been named the ‘number one’ enterprise educator in the world.

David Gibson, from Ballinderry, is the first person in Europe to receive the accolade, from the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

He was recognised for his work in promoting enterprise education throughout Queen’s, the UK’s Entrepreneurial University of the Year in 2009.  His work has seen him introduce a model of enterprise teaching into courses not traditionally associated with enterprise, including nursing and the arts.

This model is now in use in many universities around the world. It has also been adopted by the European Training Foundation to enhance the employability of graduates across the EU by providing them with enterprise, business and entrepreneurial skills.

Congratulating Mr Gibson, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: “This honour recognises the vital work which David and his colleagues carry out to nurture these vital skills among all our students.

“The development of our pioneering model of entrepreneurship education was a crucial factor in Queen’s receiving the Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year title in 2009.

Enterprise education is now embedded in 116 pathways across all academic disciplines, reaching 11,000 students across the University, and has led to over 1100 students directly engaging in business activity.”

David said: “Being entrepreneurial is not necessarily about making millions; instead it is about having the motivation and the know-how to turn ideas and opportunities into realities.

“We believe it is crucial for students to develop a spirit of enterprise to give them the edge in the highly competitive jobs market. Indeed, it is important for all of us to learn how to become more enterprising to deal with the challenges of the recession and to promote economic recovery.”

The author of five books, including The Enterprise Secret, a work of fiction published just before Christmas, David was recently appointed a Visiting Professor at the Ashcroft Business School in Cambridge.  

Media inquiries to Anne Langford, Communications Office, Tel: 00 44 (0)28 90 97 5310, mobile 07815 871997 or email a.langford@qub.ac.uk

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The China Management Research Institute

The China Management Research Institute (CMRI) was launched on 21st of Jan 2011, with a Steering Committee chaired by Prof. Richard Harrison, the director of Queen’s University Management School (QUMS). CMRI is established to further strengthen the connection between Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and China. CMRI is working with a diversity of organizations in China, including educational institutions, business organizations, local governments and non-governmental organizations. The rapid growth of China in economy, scientific research and education provides unique opportunities for QUMS.  More information......

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AS Level Taster Event proves a hit for local schools and colleges

Three hundred local students participated in the annual taster AS Level event offered by Queen’s University Management School (QUMS).   Nearly thirty schools and colleges from across Northern Ireland attended the event, which  was held to provide students with an insight into QUMS, and to help them differentiate amongst the degree programmes offered by the School. 

This is the fifth annual event held by QUMS, which is welcomed by careers and subject teachers.  They find this an invaluable way of assisting students in their selection of degree programme when they are completing their UCAS application form the following year.

The students were provided detailed information on the degree programmes; a number of QUMS’ current students also helped out and gave an account of their experiences on their course.   The finale for many of the taster sessions included group work, tasks and exercises which provided them with a real insight into the QUMS degree programmes.

Degree programme presentations made during the event are available below:

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Launch of China UK Entrepreneurship Competition

 

Darryl Newport
Darryl Newport, Sustainability Research Institute


Dr. John Law from British Council

 

 
Dr. Li Kang, Reader at EE Department

 

 
Mr. Vince Cunningham Director of China Britain Business Council


Prof. Shujie Yao, Head of School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham

 

 
Dr.Vicky Kell, Director of Trade, Invest NI

 
Iain Carberry

 
Prof. Sean Gorman CBE Welcome speech

Dr. Dave Chapman, Deputy Head of Management Department, UCL
Dr. Dave Chapman, Deputy Head of Management Department, UCL


Dr. Kiran Fernandes, Head of Operation Management Department, University of York


Dr. Yu Xiong Director of China Management Research Institute at Queen's University Management School


John Law, Higher Education Advisor of British Council


Natalie Liao, Secretary General, China Innovation and Development Association UK

 
Professor Richard Harrison,Head of School, Queen's University Managemnt School

 


 
Prof. David Brown from Lancaster University

Professor Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor Queen's University Belfast

 

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NI businesses to benefit from new China initiatives at Queen's
Professor Richard Harrison
Professor Richard Harrison
Queen's will today launch its China Management Research Institute, which will fast-track business opportunities in China for companies in Northern Ireland.

The new Institute, based in Queen's University Management School, will encourage local entrepreneurs to look towards China as a potential source of new trading partners and markets.
 
It will also further strengthen the links between Queen's and China, by working with a range of Chinese educational, business and government organisations to forge new academic and research connections.
 
Professor Richard Harrison, Director of Queen's University Management School, said: "China is an increasingly important economy on the world stage and is emerging as a major research and education centre. 
 
"The new Institute will lead research into Chinese management and business practices, which will enable Queen's Management School to offer enhanced knowledge and expertise for the benefit of industry and commerce in both Northern Ireland and China.

"In particular, it will provide insights for managers in both countries which will help to underpin enhanced trade and business development links. 

"It is the latest in a series of international initiatives within Queen's University Management School, which offer our students the chance to experience different and highly dynamic business cultures."

The new Institute will be announced following the launch at Queen's of the 4th China UK Entrepreneurship Competition, which will also strengthen the School's existing partnerships with universities and government bodies in China.

The contest aims to encourage new business ventures between China and the UK, and replicates the process of entrepreneurs securing start-up funds from early stage investors and venture capital firms. There are two streams to the competition: one for students in the UK and China and one for businesses in both countries. Both promote business ideas that use internal resources or markets.

The competition is a joint venture between Queen's, Lancaster University, University College London and the University of York, and is supported by the Chinese Government.
 
Keynote speakers at today's events will include representatives of the China-Britain Business Council, the British Council, Invest NI, and Queen's partner universities in the China-UK Entrepreneurship Competition.

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Darryl Newport
Darryl Newport, Sustainability Research Institute


Dr. John Law from British Council

 


Dr. Li Kang, Reader at EE Department

 

 
Mr. Vince Cunningham Director of China Britain Business Council


Prof. Shujie Yao, Head of School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham

 

 
Dr.Vicky Kell, Director of Trade, Invest NI


Iain Carberry


Prof. Sean Gorman CBE Welcome speech

Dr. Dave Chapman, Deputy Head of Management Department, UCL
Dr. Dave Chapman, Deputy Head of Management Department, UCL


Dr. Kiran Fernandes, Head of Operation Management Department, University of York


Dr. Yu Xiong Director of China Management Research Institute at Queen's University Management School


John Law, Higher Education Advisor of British Council


Natalie Liao, Secretary General, China Innovation and Development Association UK


Professor Richard Harrison,Head of School, Queen's University Managemnt School

 



Prof. David Brown from Lancaster University

Professor Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor Queen's University Belfast