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About us

We are a Diet and Health Open Innovation Research Club (OIRC) innovation hub, a network funded by the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) that promotes collaborations between industry and academia.

Introducing the STARt Healthy, Stay Healthy (STAR) Hub

Our network brings together scientific communities, serving as a platform for thought leadership and partnerships between academic and industry members. Led by the University of Surrey in close collaboration with the Universities of Reading, Newcastle, Ulster and Leeds, at inception, the Hub brings together the strategic partnership of 12 other UK Universities, 21 SMEs and Large Businesses, end-users and wider stakeholders in the food and drink sector.

The STAR Hub's aim is to support these activities through the granting of Business Interaction Vouchers (BIVs) to develop academic/industry teams and proposals, Feasibility Awards (FAs) to facilitate translation and commercialisation activities, and Flexible Mobility Awards (FMAs) to enable visits by academics and early career researchers (ECRs) and industry-based researchers to plan projects or draft fellowship applications.  For further details, see our funding page.

Tripartite (industry/academia/3rd sector) networking events such as Industry Innovation Fora will promote collaboration, stimulate innovation and provide cross-sector, interdisciplinary training to ECRs to become future leaders in the UK food sector.

We will broker new partnerships of academia with businesses and co-design new projects to:

  1. Provide robust evidence to industry on the role of specific food components in cognitive and mental health across the lifespan;
  2. Highlight opportunities for UK-based industry to exploit this evidence through further research and development, ultimately producing new innovative plant-based dietary products;
  3. Target and tailor these products to specific life stages to improve and maintain cognitive/mental health across the life-course.

Become a member of the STAR Hub

Membership is free and open to any organisation, of any size, anywhere in the world, that can demonstrate a strategic commitment to collaborative research and innovation.