BBSRC Advanced Training Partnerships for Agri-Food

In 2011, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) awarded a total of £12M for major new training programmes for industry specialists working in vital niche areas within the agri-food sector.

What is an ATP?

The BBSRC Advanced Training Partnerships provide postgraduate level professional development in the area of agriculture and food production for a large number of industry specialists across the UK. Scientific and technical staff working in the UK's agri-food sectors are supported to develop the skills necessary to ensure the UK continues to make significant contributions towards national and global food security.

How do they work?

The ATPs develop and deliver specialist training programmes for postgraduate degrees, as well as continuing professional development courses. Each programme focuses on a particular research area, and the four are complementary, covering the full range of food production from soil to plate.

The training is delivered flexibly to ensure that specialist staff from a widest range of companies can benefit. This includes distance learning, short-courses, work-based training, research placements and secondments. Training modules can be built into full Masters degrees, and Partnerships will also be developing Professional Doctorates in agricultural and food sciences.


AgriFood ATP 

Led by the University of Nottingham with Harper Adams University College, Cranfield University, Rothamsted Research, and a number of industrial partners. This programme has been designed in response to feedback from industry about training needs and will be flexible and responsive, spanning the entire agri-food chain, including soils, water, crops, animals, post-harvest, food and nutrition. The aim is to provide participants with lifelong membership of a vibrant community of colleagues in industry and academia, enabling them to obtain a wide range of technical and contextual skills that can be deployed for maximum impact across the chain.

Food ATP 

Led by the University of Reading with Rothamsted Research, University of Birmingham, Leatherhead Food Research, and a number of other industrial partners. This partnership brings together experts working on the food chain from production to consumption, from academia and industry, focused on delivering high quality and real-world relevant training for the food and production industries.

Sustainable and Efficient Food Production (Pasture - ATP) 

Led by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Science (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, with Bangor University, the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, and a number of industrial partners. This training partnership will look to address the high-level skills needs of pasture based agriculture in the UK, focusing on increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact of extensive beef, sheep and dairy farming.