21/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 07:30

British GM crop scientists win $10m grant from Gates

Category: England

Published: 15th Jul 2012 06:14:28

A team of British plant scientists has won a $10m (£6.4m) grant from the Gates Foundation to develop GM cereal crops.

It is one of the largest single investments into GM in the UK and will be used to cultivate corn, wheat and rice that need little or no fertiliser.

It comes at a time when bio-tech researchers are trying to allay public fears over genetic modification.

The work at the John Innes Centre in Norwich is hoped to benefit African farmers who cannot afford fertiliser.

Agricultural fertiliser is important across the globe.

But the poorest farmers cannot afford fertiliser - and it is responsible for large greenhouse gas emissions.

The John Innes Centre is trying to engineer cereal crops that could get nitrogen from the air - as peas and beans do - rather than needing chemical ammonia spread on fields.

Success could revolutionise agriculture, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to help struggling maize farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Opponents of GM say results will not be achieved for decades at best and global food shortages could be addressed now through improving distribution and cutting waste.

Giles Oldroyd, from the John Innes Centre, said the project was vital for poorer African farmers and would have a huge impact on global agriculture.

See more on this story on BBC One's Countryfile at 20:00 BST on Sunday 15 July

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. British GM crop scientists win $10m grant from Gates [Online] (Updated 15th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1440582/British-GM-crop-scientists-win-10m-grant-from-Gates [Accessed 21st Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Netflix, Amazon and Sky chase blockbuster TV exclusives

    An upstart rapidly rises from obscurity to become a household name by distributing a highly addictive product consumed by thousands.
  • Biker dies after crash with 4x4 towing boat at Cardigan

    A motorcyclist who was seriously injured when his machine collided with a 4x4 towing a trailer carrying an inflatable boat has died, said police.
  • Story of Joseph Heller's 'forgotten' Catch-22 script

    After Joseph Heller published his seminal war novel Catch-22 he adapted the book for the stage. He hoped it would go to Broadway - but more than 40 years on, his script has very rarely been performed. Now it is finally getting its UK premiere.
  • Japan's trade deficit quadruples in March

    Japan's trade deficit quadrupled in March as export growth slowed and energy imports continued to rise.
  • Myanmar democracy veteran Win Tin dies at 85

    Win Tin, a veteran of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement, has died at the age of 85.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com