Biotech Updates

New UK Initiative Aims to Increase Food Productivity

October 16, 2009

United Kingdom's Technology Strategy Board, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have launched the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform, a new program that will "bring the government, business and researchers together to stimulate the development of new technologies that will increase food productivity, while decreasing the environmental impact of the food and farming industries." The program will invest up to £75 million (USD 122 million) over the next five years to support "innovative" research and development in areas such as crop productivity, sustainable livestock production and greenhouse gas reduction.

The new program will begin its work by investing up to £13 million (USD 22 million) in new research and development that will help crop growers to respond to the dual challenges of increasing productivity while reducing the environmental impact of crop production.

"This new Innovation Platform will play to this country's strengths in agriculture, food and biotechnology research. In helping to bring the quality of British research to bear on a global problem, we will be doing a service not just to ourselves, but to the rest of the world," said BBSRC's Celia Caulcott.

The media release is available at