NIAB EMR consortium wins crop research funding

An industry consortium, led by Berry Gardens Growers Ltd (BGG) and NIAB EMR, has won a BBSRC collaborative training partnership (CTP) award to provide a £1.9 million postgraduate programme for scientific research on fruit crops.

The programme, which will be based at NIAB EMR in Kent and run from October 2017 to September 2023, includes 16 four-year PhD studentships in core research areas such as plant breeding, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, plant physiology and crop agronomy.

Dr Nicola Harrison, NIAB EMR CTP science co-ordinator, said, “The CTP award will help us produce an innovative and exceptional postgraduate research training programme that will engage and train the next generation of scientists to deliver strategic research that will help secure the future of UK horticulture. Researchers from Cambridge, Nottingham and Reading, and colleagues at NIAB EMR, will produce a research portfolio that ensures the translation of cutting-edge research through to the wider industry.”

The industry partners forming the consortium span the supply chain and include Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, Worldwide Fruit Ltd, M&W Mack Ltd, Univeg UK Ltd, and the National Association of Cider Makers, as well as Marks & Spencer plc. The over-arching knowledge exchange capability is provided by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

BGG’s Richard Harnden said, “This pioneering partnership between businesses, research providers and AHDB will provide a world-class horticultural and bioscience UK research training programme to address the scientific challenges faced by agri-businesses, from crop production, food quality and supply, through to consumer preference and reducing waste in the supply chain.”

Photo Caption: East Malling will be the base for the new students

Photo Credit: NIAB EMR

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