UK-India Virtual Joint Centres in Agricultural Nitrogen

Four UK-India Virtual Joint Centres in Agricultural Nitrogen were announced in December 2015. The centres are backed by £10M investment from the Newton-Bhabba Fund (a UK-India initiative to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote economic development and welfare), and delivered by a partnership between the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Department of Biotechnology India (DBT). They support collaborative work between UK and Indian scientists to help meet the challenge of sustainably producing enough food for a growing population whilst reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

NIAB participates in the following UK-India Virtual Joint Centres in Agricultural Nitrogen, being the UK lead research organisation on the first one (CINTRIN):

Cambridge-India Network for Translational Research in Nitrogen (CINTRIN)

This Centre is led by NIAB's Dr Tina Barsby and Dr Alison Bentley working with Dr Rajeev Gupta, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and involves researchers from the University of Cambridge, Punjab Agricultural University, ADAS, and the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) New Delhi, as well as agri-IT and bio-technology specialists KisanHub and BenchBio.

CINTRIN will exploit and translate developmental biology research into innovation in nitrogen use by farmers. It will deliver a translational pipeline to produce new cereal varieties for optimized nitrogen use in agriculture. The Centre will provide extensive training in developmental research and translation, and generate new knowledge to optimise biological nitrogen use for sustainable intensification of agri-food systems.

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Indo-UK Centre for the improvement of Nitrogen use Efficiency in Wheat (INEW)

Indo-UK Centre for the improvement of Nitrogen use Efficiency in WheatThis Centre is lead by Prof Peter Shewry, Rothamsted Research and Dr Karnam Venkatesh, Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, working with researchers at NIAB (the National Institute of Agricultural Botany), The University of Nottingham, University of Bristol, the John Innes Centre, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, National Research Centre for Plant Biotechnology, Borlaug Institute South Asia, Punjab Agriculture University, and the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources.

The Centre brings together major UK and Indian wheat researchers with programmes on wheat improvement to determine the genetic control of nitrogen use efficiency in wheat. The Centre will coordinate activities, harmonise protocols, provide training opportunities for early career scientists and generate a unique range of genetic material, skills and research facilities.

Significant economic and environmental impacts will be achieved through the sustainable intensification of wheat production, which will reduce the use of nitrogen fertilisers by farmers, thus reducing crop production costs for farmers and the release of reactive nitrogen into the environment.

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