24th November 2010
IBERS breaks new ground
Revolutionising plant breeding work to help face global challenges.
Work has started on building a new £7 million research facility at the world-renowned Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University.
The development will house world-class resources to help find solutions to the major global challenges of food, water and energy security, and adapting to changing climate.
The new building will help revolutionise IBERS’ pioneering work in the field of phenomcis – understanding how genes influence the way plants look and behave. Work that used to take years will now be done in months.
Work at the new centre will lead to developing new varieties that will improve livestock and benefit farmers in Wales and across the world, and new crops that can withstand extreme variations in climate and make use of poorer land.
The new resources will also lead to more collaborations with internationally respected scientists from all parts of the world.
Whilst linking two existing buildings, the new development will include state of the art greenhouses and laboratories, space for visiting academics to work and a communal and social area where the public can see IBERS’ work.
By following IBERS’ mission of harnessing academic research to the needs of farmers, business and communities, the new building will be a hub to foster enterprise in the agricultural, food, bio-renewables and land-based industries.
The investment at IBERS’ Gogerddan campus near the village of Penrhyn-coch is being funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Welsh Assembly Government.
Professor Noel Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor from Aberystwyth University said: “This is an important step in focusing the activity of IBERS on two campuses – Gogerddan and Penglais - and the new facilities will further enhance the contribution that IBERS can make as one of the most innovative research centres in plant and animal science in the world.”
Professor Wayne Powell, Director of IBERS said: “The new phenomics centre will mean that comprehensive information can be recorded from large numbers of plants in months rather than years.”
“It will be a focus for the development of high quality collaborations with international scientists in the fields of genetics and functional genomics, ecology, genecology, crop improvement, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and global agriculture in an environmental context.”