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wolfson grant crop

Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology is one of the country’s leading centres for crop research, with a long-standing internationally recognised record of research excellence.

We are delighted to announce that the Centre has been awarded a £1m grant from the Wolfson Foundation to refurbish and upgrade its plant growth facilities, allowing the advancement of the Centre’s pioneering research supporting food security in our changing climate.

Centre for Crop Improvement Technology

Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines to develop state of the art technologies for crop improvement and protection.

It has strengths in multidisciplinary research, supporting the development of novel technologies to protect and improve crops. 

It works closely with farmers, the agritech industry and other research centres to seek solutions to some of the most pressing issues relating to food security – in particular, addressing the impacts of climate change. 

Building on our world-class research

With the support from the Wolfson Foundation, the upgraded facilities will allow us to build on our world-leading strengths in plant science research.

The upgraded facilities will provide the Centre with the tools needed to support its fundamental research, allow the researchers to study model plants and crops in a wide range of climatic conditions that mimic those found from polar regions to the tropics.

The grant will allow the Centre to establish a step-change in plant transgenesis capabilities, including genome editing, to link crop traits with genetics, which will enhance our work with industry partners and farmers to apply mechanistic insights to increase the resilience and competitiveness of national and international food supply chains.

The upgraded facilities will provide a platform for knowledge transfer, upskilling opportunities for the wider community, and engagement with businesses and other partners to advance sustainable food production.

The £1m funding will also be supporting the next phase of the Centre’s plans, the development of the North East Centre for Crop and Soil Innovation – a significantly expanded high-tech hub, in partnership with Newcastle and Teesside Universities and Houghall College, to accelerate the exploitation of scientific discoveries into the field to sustainably boost food production.

The Wolfson Foundation’s investment will help to ensure that the UK continues to lead the way in finding innovative solutions to increase crop productivity and resilience.

Find out more

Our Department of Biosciences is a leading centre for this increasingly important area of study and is ranked 5th in The Complete University Guide 2024. Students develop a wide range of analytical and practical skills that prepare them to meet the challenges we face across the globe including food security, sustainability and the impact of climate change.

Feeling inspired? Visit our Biosciences webpages to learn more about our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes.