Aberystwyth University has this week announced details of a new research programme, investing just shy of £9m into the study of crop sustainability.
Focusing on how crops cope under extreme weather conditions, the project will look close into forage grasses, clovers, oats and the energy grass miscanthus, studying ways in which such products respond to drought and flooding.
As part of the £319m Biotechnology and Biological Research Council investment in biosciences, the project aims to help economic growth, supporting the food, agriculture, energy, materials and health industries with its conclusions and findings.
Professor Mike Gooding, director of the university’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), said:
“This new investment is significant in enabling IBERS plant breeding scientists to continue as world leaders with nearly 100 years of experience in the development and use of crops in a changing world.”
Ensuring research remains globally competitive, this investment is just a small part of a larger picture, with the UK government said to be handing out close to £4.7Bn over the course of the next five years. Tackling various issues, the push Has arguably been influenced by Brexit, with the UK wanting to ensure Britain prospers with regards to research and development when leaving the European Union. At present, it is not clear whether or not UK-based researchers will be eligible to participate in EU research and development projects post 2020, with such funding seeing that Britain stays at the forefront of research.
“Through our modern industrial strategy, we will use all the tools at our disposal to stimulate growth in every part of the country, ensuring that prosperity is more evenly spread,” Greg Clark, business and energy secretary, said in a statement. “Science, research and innovation are at the heart of the industrial strategy which is why we’re providing more than £4.7 billion of additional funding over the next five years, including the £319 million for bioscience research.”