Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) has received a boost in funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of £9.8 million for its work in resilient crops.
IBERS, based in Gogerddan near Aberystwyth, undertakes research to address global challenges, including food security, bioenergy and climate change, studying areas such as what is needed for future agricultural resilience and sustainable biomass production for Net Zero achievements.
The new resilient crops funding will support studies on perennial ryegrass, clover, oats and the ‘energy grass’, miscanthus.
The research includes investigating reducing the environmental impact of livestock, developing tools to accelerate plant breeding, and using biorefineries to boost plant-based products.
“The new funding gives us the opportunity to help agriculture to be more climate resilient as well as promote a renaissance in agricultural productivity and to develop a bioeconomy that tackles climate change while creating new industries and jobs within both rural and urban economies,” said Professor Iain Donnison, head of IBERS at Aberystwyth University.
IBERS at Aberystwyth University is one of eight strategic research institutes supported by this long-term investment by the BBSRC, part of UKRI.
Funding for the institute in west Wales is part of a wider investment from the BBSRC in life science research institutes and infrastructure totalling more than £376m between 2023 and 2028.
To ensure all eight institutes continue to make a significant contribution to the bioscience research and innovation system, the BBSRC conducts an Institute Assessment Exercise (IAE) every five years, with the last one taking place in 2022.
“The investment BBSRC is making in its strategically supported institutes over the next five years will help deliver novel bio-based solutions to some of the greatest challenges we face as a society,” concluded Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair at BBSRC.