The John Innes Centre

Improving the world’s crops: An independent, international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology

Founded in 1909, the John Innes Centre tackles some of the greatest challenges facing society, from climate change and sustainable food security to antimicrobial resistance.

The John Innes Centre, which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), is recognised internationally for iconic successes such as the generation of Maris Piper potatoes and Maris Otter barley. It remains at the cutting-edge of research and innovation, delivering £14 gross value added (GVA) for every £1 invested in research and resulting in the establishment of, on average, one company per year.

Critical to the centre’s success is the co-location of world-class research facilities in Norwich, including:

  • The Germplasm Resource Unit, maintaining wide crop diversity for future food security
  • The Biotechnology Resources for Arable Crop Transformation Facility (BRACT), providing a range of resources for genetic transformation of crops and gene editing
  • Glasshouses, controlled-environment rooms and 110ha of land in the field experimentation centre, enabling germplasm research in a commercial agricultural environment
  • Technology platforms in imaging, biomolecular analysis, genomics and databases, supporting scientists across all disciplines

Continuing infrastructure developments will enable the John Innes Centre and its partner institute the Sainsbury Laboratory to deliver new research aimed at developing disease-resistant crops, staple foods with improved nutrition, plant- and microbe-derived medicinal products and climate-resilient crops amongst others.


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