The N-Circle Virtual Joint Centre (VJC) is a multidisciplinary project that seeks to deliver realistic short-to-medium term solutions for intensified crop productivity supported by near-closed-loop N cycling, to the benefit of both the UK and Chinese agricultural sectors.
The key challenge is to integrate and develop synergies between disparate technologies. The N-Circle VJC will create a dynamic and lasting multi-disciplinary hub, with a clear vision, to attract, integrate and harness the relevant skills and expertise from the UK and China, to create infrastructure to deliver tight agricultural N cycling in China. In particular, environmental, biological and genetic scientists will combine with specialists in agronomic extension to form teams to develop a multi-scale perspective, implemented through the Cool Farm Tool (CFT) for both commercial and scientific purposes. The CFT is ideal for identifying crucial points for intervention, to elicit targeted innovations, to explain and promote adoption, and to assess impacts. N-Circle will work across physical scales, across scales of ambition, and across scales of experience, so that its agenda for change is dynamic, ongoing and lasting.
All research and extension activities will involve bilateral exchanges and training to build technical expertise, maximise synergies, build research capacity and enthuse the science leaders of the future. An intensive outreach programme will engage with regional agricultural communities throughout, to achieve rapid change through adoption of the N-Circle concepts and philosophy within agriculture and among consumers.