Centenary of the founding of the Plant Breeding Institute

Categories: guest blogger
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Published on: July 3, 2012

On Wednesday 20th June the John Innes Centre hosted a one-day conference to celebrate the founding of The Plant Breeding Institute (PBI) in Cambridge. Laura Dixon, scientist at the John Innes Centre, was there.

The day consisted of talks and social time where alumni of the PBI, current plant scientists and plant breeders could meet, reminisce about times past and also discuss future plans.

The PBI was founded in 1912 by the British Government and the University of Cambridge with the aim of stimulating growth and development in British agriculture. It was led by the plant breeder William Biffen, whose early success in developing a rust-resistant wheat variety “Little Joss” laid the foundation for the PBI to develop from. Subsequently, a number of successes came from the PBI labs, recognised by four Queens Awards to Industry and the longevity of the varieties developed, such as the Maris Piper potato. (more…)

Bioscience and Innovation at the Plant Sci conference

Categories: funding, guest blogger, UKPSF
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Published on: June 14, 2012

Becky Nesbit was at the Plant Sci conference in April and reviews a talk encouraging academics to link with business.
Science and industry are unavoidably linked, so it is important for academics to have business knowledge and often beneficial to have a working relationship with commercial companies.

At the recent PlantSci conference, Dr Dan Godfrey from the BBSRC Bioscience and Innovation Unit was a speaker at the ‘Working with Business’ evening workshop.

His advice to the plant science community is to develop links with business. “Academic researchers can gain a huge amount from working with business, for example through sharing expertise and facilities and by establishing a dialogue on important research challenges. I would encourage all plant scientists to consider partnering with business. It can be a valuable source of funding and they may discover their research has commercial potential, which they hadn’t yet considered.”

The BBSRC operates a range of schemes designed to support academic partnerships with industry. (more…)

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