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About Us

The Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology (DCCIT) has a multidisciplinary research focus that integrates state of the art knowhow in plant genetics, cell biology and biochemistry with expertise in chemistry, physics and mathematics. Our aim is to build upon our ground breaking fundamental plant science research to develop pioneering technologies for crop improvement and protection. DCCIT engages with major Agritechnology industry partners to deliver these innovations to the Agriculture sector. DCCIT is co-ordinated by two Co-Directors, and activities are managed collaboratively by more than 20 full members. 


Engagement with Agritech

Encouraging and fostering industrial partnerships is a cornerstone of our research strategy.

Over several years we have developed and extended our collaborative links with Agritech companies, including: AltEnergis, Astrazeneca, Bayer, CPI, Fujifilm-Diosynth Biotechnologies, Generon, Lonza, NIAB, Northumbrian Water Ltd, Syngenta, Sutton Seeds, Tozer seeds and Unilever. Whenever possible, we work under Open Innovation Agreements, negotiated by our dedicated legal team, to promote rapid exchange of ideas, technologies and research outputs.
Our research profile

Multidisciplinary solutions to the world’s problems

DCCIT directs Durham University's research strength in Agritechnology towards major challenges, especially food security and industrial plant-biotechnology, and works closely with collaborators from across the UK and overseas. The Centre has established a crop transformation and gene editing facility - a unique enabling technology amongst the N8 universities. We have developed efficient transformation procedures for wheat, rice and barley, and have genome editing expertise in wheat and rice.  

DCCIT took the lead in shaping the successful N8 AgriFood proposal on behalf of Durham Universityresulting in £8M HEFCE funding across the N8 universities. The success of the N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme is evident in the research income generated (over £150m from UKRI, with £11.4m of this leveraged from industry), as well as the continuation of the programme into its second phase. The consortium enabled the creation of the N8 Crop and Soil Innovation Pipeline (CSIP) – an innovation platform that integrates from fundamental crop and soil science to state of the art farms to generate transformative solutions for the AgriFood sector. DCCIT played an instrumental role in the creation of this ambitious hub that aims to bring together businesses, farmers and academics.  We look forward to strengthening our links with external collaborators and further successes in the future. 

Contact us

Contact us to discover more about our research and services.

Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology

Department of Biosciences

Durham University

Stockton Road