Jeremaia Koroijiuta, the Key Technical Person for Food Unit at the IAS Laboratory conducting a training on Kava analysis
The Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) has been awarded the Food EDU Project through the American Heart Association (AHA). The Award is for two years at a value of $197, 780 (USD) and starts in January 2024. The Food EDU Project was awarded to Dr Vincent Lal as the Principal Investigator from the Institute of Applied Sciences. Food EDU supports a total of six fellows in their professional development through mentoring and research support.
AHA had along with The Rockefeller Foundation, USA funded the establishment of one of the nine global Centre of Excellence (COE) of the Periodic Table of Food Initiative (PTFI) at IAS in August 2023.
The Fellowship project will focus on the biochemical diversity analysis of different varieties of indigenous and underutilized crops from the South Pacific.
The Fellowship will be awarded to researchers who have shown leadership, potential, experience, and commitment to contributing to the body of scientific knowledge in the areas of food composition analysis and biodiversity conservation. There is also a focus on indigenous and traditional foods, access and benefits sharing as well as climate resilience.
The IAS has nomi
nated two of its staff for the fellowship positions: Mr. Joape Ginigini, a natural products researcher with experience in access and benefit sharing issues in Fiji, and Mr. Jeremaia Koroijiuta, a Food Key Technical Person for accredited food chemical analyses. The Award will support recipients in their research on the priority areas, identified by IAS and AHA. These areas will include food composition analysis, access, and benefit sharing, community participatory mapping of food and climate resilience. The fellows will also be supported by mentors who are experts in their field of study. Such capacity development is important in the Pacific Islands to strengthen research on traditional and underutilized foods from the region.
IAS Acting Director, Dr Isoa Korovulvula expressed his appreciation towards the AHA for its recognition of the Institute’s research capabilities. “I am anticipating the discovery of new findings in the Fellow’s research and their recommendations towards the policies on traditional and indigenous foods in the South Pacific,” he said. “It supports the Mission of the Institute which is to empower resilient and sustainable Pacific communities through applied Sciences and innovation,” he added.