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International Wheat Yield Partnership awards funding for eight projects

The BBSRC-supported International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) has funded eight selected projects from its first competitive call. The projects cover a broad range of research topics related to the IWYP goal of raising the genetic yield potential of wheat by up to 50% over the coming 20 years.

IWYP launched its first competitive call for research proposals in January 2015. Five of the eight funded projects are being led by UK-based research teams. BBSRC is contributing US$5,715,366 in funding.

Dr Jeff Gwyn, IWYP Programme Director, said: “IWYP received many very good and potentially high impact proposals. Final decisions for funding awards were based upon a rigorous international expert peer review for scientific excellence that also identified research projects that were best aligned with the research needs of IWYP.”

Successful projects involve institutions and research teams from the United Kingdom, Australia, United States of America, Mexico, India, Argentina and Spain. The total value of the funded research is around US$20M.

Funding agencies include BBSRC, Grains Research and Development Corporation of Australia (GRDC), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Department of Biotechnology of India (DBT), and Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) through the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico (CIMMYT).

Steve Visscher, BBSRC Deputy Chief Executive – International, said: “This is a very exciting step that we have been working towards for several years. The critical issue of food security relative to a rapidly expanding population, coupled with the effects of climate change, is a global one that requires immediate international action since the scientific discovery, development and delivery process takes many years. We believe that IWYP is but one important new strategy to address this issue. IWYP also provides a new model for a public-private partnership and how coordinated international research programs can be done effectively and efficiently.”

Dr Richard Flavell FRS, chair of the Science Impact and Executive Board of IWYP, says: “This is particularly exciting in that IWYP is a new funding and coordination partnership for stimulating wheat yield genetic research and development. IWYP will push the translation of scientific discoveries into elite wheat varieties ready for marketing to both non-industrialised and industrialised countries. It brings together research funders, international aid agencies, foundations, private industry and major wheat research organizations to help realize the IWYP goals.”

 

Story source: BBSRC news, 29 Oct 2015

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