Date of release: Thursday, February 25, 2016

Queens AnniversaryStaff at the University of Greenwich collected a prestigious award at Buckingham Palace today (Thursday 25 February) in a ceremony presided over by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The university has won a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its outstanding work on cassava, a tropical root crop which is a staple food in sub-Saharan Africa.

The university's Chancellor, Baroness Scotland, Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Maguire, and Director of the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), Professor Andrew Westby, were among those from Greenwich attending the ceremony and were presented with a silver gilt medallion and a decorated and inscribed certificate, signed by the Queen.

After the ceremony, the university party was invited to a reception at the Palace, where Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met prize-winners informally. University staff also attended a celebration dinner in London's Guildhall last night (Wednesday 24 February).

Queen's Anniversary Prizes are awarded every two years to universities and colleges who have carried out important work displaying excellence, innovation, impact and benefit, both for the university itself and to the wider world in general.

The prize recognises the innovative research and development carried out by Greenwich's Natural Resources Institute within the Faculty of Engineering & Science.

Professor Maguire, Vice-Chancellor, says: "It was a great thrill and an honour to attend these events at Buckingham Palace and London's Guildhall. This is an extremely proud day, not only for me as Vice-Chancellor, but for the whole university. The Natural Resources Institute has once again been recognised upon the national stage, which is a fine tribute to the hard work and world-class expertise of our staff, and also to our international funders and partners."

Professor Westby says: "Our collaborative cassava programme addresses some of the major challenges in cassava production, linking smallholder farmers to markets in order to improve incomes and ensure food security. A key part of the programme is our capacity-strengthening activities, which support African colleagues to continue finding sustainable solutions to these challenges."

This is the fourth Queen's Anniversary Prize to be won by the University of Greenwich.

The university party who attended the Palace included Natural Resources Institute staff and students. They were Dr Sophie Bouvaine, Lora Forsythe, Saptarshi Ghosh, Dr Maruthi Gowda, Habibu Mugerwa, Joachim Nwezeobi and Professor Keith Tomlins.

For more on the Queen's Anniversary Prizes 2015: http://www.royalanniversarytrust.org.uk/

For more on the Natural Resources Institute: http://www.nri.org/

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Professor David Maguire and Professor Andrew Westby receive the award from Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.