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MD, UK Edible Insect Association
Nick‘s professional bio / interests
I have developed over many years a keen interest in supporting more sustainable food solutions – I founded and ran a local food growing cooperative for 5 years where we grew a range of organic produce, worked in the Sheffield Junk Food Project. After hearing about the potential of insect protein to address the global protein production challenges, in 2014 I founded the Woven Network CIC - UK's (international) network focused on supporting entrepreneurs and researchers working on the opportunities around insects for food and feed. As a result I have built an extensive international network of people involved in this, a solid understanding of the many issues and opportunities facing the sector. I have been asked to speak about the potential of insect protein in the Houses of Parliament, at Chatham House and at academic and business conferences.
I’d like help with…
Connecting and supporting research and collaboration that supports the edible insect and wider farmed insect protein sector.
An interesting, or unusual fact(s) about me…
I spent 26-years in a wide range of policy roles in the UK Government. For the last five years, I was Head of International Innovation Strategy at the UK Government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. In 2016 I left Government to set up Unconventional Connections Ltd. Where I have worked as a CEO/consultant, delivering projects for a range of public and private clients. My consultancy work has a strong focus on helping developing countries' food production to be more sustainable and he has developed a broad network of contacts and experts to support this.
I live in
A career highlight
Significant, relevant projects I and the wider Unconventional Connections team have delivered include: • In partnership with Finovista, prepared and submitted a proposal to Invest India to provide commercial readiness assessments and commercialisation coaching and support for food/agri technologies developed in India • For the WWF Funded FeedX programme. Judged submissions from insect farming companies regarding their potential to provide sustainable alternatives to fishmeal for the aquaculture sector. • Formed a consortium with University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, Stirling University and Zero Waste Scotland to bid to WWF to create a roadmap for insect farming expansion in the UK. • For the Department for International Development (DFID). Consulting on and developing a strategic approach to engaging with a range of Indian, Chinese and global domestic appliance companies that will enable a rapid increase in the availability of electric cooking devices across the developing world • For DFID. Mapping UK energy technology company strengths to developing country needs and developing proposals for programmes that could harness that for real impact in the developing world • For the North-East Local Enterprise Partnerships. Carried out a review of a proposed Innovation Delivery Partnerships model for driving economic growth in the region, including making recommendations for piloting the approach
21 November, 2023