CIEL | Blog: When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts

Phil Bicknell
When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts

We like to think most would agree that working together is the driving force behind expanding knowledge, accelerating innovation and working in a time- and resource-efficient way.

Championing this ethos, CIEL is working with over 900 expert scientists and an ever-growing network of Members to drive science and innovation across the livestock and aquaculture supply chain. Indeed, membership of CIEL has grown by over 40% in the last 12 months. So what’s behind this growth?

Agriculture and aquaculture face similar industry challenges that require world-leading science-based solutions. Across the board, the agrifood industry is increasingly recognising the benefits of collaboration to tackle the issues that no one part of the supply chain can solve alone and to capitalise on new opportunities that lie ahead.

The collaborative partnership spearheaded by CIEL is helping to speed up the translation of ideas into supply chain solutions, from enhancing animal health and welfare to tackling antimicrobial resistance and helping livestock farming reach its Net Zero commitments.

Becoming a CIEL Member means 👇

Access to world-leading research capability of a commercially relevant scale – A trusted point of contact, CIEL brings industry and academia together to help ensure new technologies can be rigorously tested & validated with increased confidence and credibility, knowing the results will be replicable at farm level. In 2022, the value of research supported by facilities co-developed by CIEL was around £9 million. This expertise is supporting the complete food production supply chain.

Forging relationships with new knowledge, insight and technical expertise – Collaborating with CIEL’s network can help stimulate new ideas to tackle critical, sector-specific challenges. You’ll also maximise the chance of success when it comes to securing funding with enhanced research proposals that make a compelling case for investment.

A chance to accelerate business growth – Raise your profile with exposure to potential customers, collaborators and investors. CIEL will also signpost Members to appropriate funding and help create new partnerships centred around specific themes, ready to capitalise on future research and funding opportunities. In the last 12 months, we’ve helped our Members win over £8.5 million in funding for projects involving close to 40 organisations.

Supporting this activity are a host of exclusive benefits reserved for CIEL Members. These include:

  • The Member Visit Programme, offering a chance to tour CIEL-supported research facilities, network with fellow Members and researchers across the wider CIEL Network, and learn more about current research activity, upcoming project areas and pipeline developments.
  • Open Innovation Groups, developing partnerships and driving collaboration in a safe, pre-competitive space to identify and develop joint priority areas for collaborative research. Current active groups are focussed on livestock feed & nutrition and animal health & welfare, with more planned for the near future.

To explore the opportunity of joining the  CIEL Network, and see theat ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ click here: Membership | CIEL | Innovation excellence in livestock (

When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
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Phil Bicknell | CIEL

Phil Bicknell, Director

In addition to supporting the strategic development of CIEL, Phil heads up the business team, developing CIEL Membership and bringing Members together to collaborate, develop and deliver industrial research and innovation. The team also manages several projects across the agri-tech sector. Phil additionally oversees the marketing and communications function and supports CIEL’s knowledge exchange activities to drive engagement in research. Growing up on the family livestock farm, Phil is an agricultural economics graduate from the University of Reading and has worked in a variety agrifood roles, within the UK and internationally.

Email: [email protected]  |  Phone: 01904 567716