Launch of the International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) European Winter Wheat Hub

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Building on a wealth of existing investment in UK wheat R&D, including the UK Research and Innovation BBSRC-funded Designing Future Wheat programme (DFW), the newly formed IWYP – European Winter Wheat Hub will accelerate research discoveries from the UK and globally into commercial plant breeding.

A public-private partnership, the IWYP – European Winter Wheat Hub will combine novel traits discovered by collaborative international teams into a range of high performing European winter wheat genetic backgrounds for assessment and use in winter wheat breeding programmes.

BASF, KWS, RAGT and Syngenta have entered a collaboration with NIAB to provide a translational pipeline supporting European winter wheat improvement. In partnership with IWYP, the commercial breeders will select key genetic discoveries of potential value for the European wheat community from global IWYP research projects. NIAB will then use its expertise in pre-breeding to produce genetic material for the validation and development of selected IWYP research outputs. 

Joining the wider existing IWYP Hub Network of large translational pipelines operating on Spring Wheat at CIMMYT (the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre) in Mexico and the recently established NIFA-IWYP Winter Wheat Breeding Innovation Hub at Kansas State University, USA, the IWYP – European Winter Wheat Hub will ensure that cutting edge discoveries are rapidly available to both the participating wheat breeders and to the global wheat breeding community.

“This is another excellent example of how Public-Private Partnerships (such as the DFW, Wheat Initiative and IWYP) can work well at both the international and national level,” said Dr Chris Tapsell from KWS, who is leading the IWYP European Winter Wheat Hub Development, “And this hub will help ensure that the hard work of the IWYP researchers around the world will deliver impacts that address the twin challenges of increasing wheat production for food security whilst protecting the environment.”

Jeff Gwyn, who leads the IWYP programme said, “The addition of this new Hub further strengthens the IWYP Hub Network and enables the development of our innovations to reach a wider industry base more rapidly. It is critical for IWYP to have its research outputs taken up and utilised for the public good. Public-private partnerships such as this further demonstrates that the IWYP initiative is filling a significant gap and creating value.”

Tina Barsby, CEO of NIAB commented, “NIAB has a strong track record in pre-breeding of wheat and particularly in working closely with commercial breeders to bring new variability to the market. We are really looking forward to helping to advance IWYP project traits into breeding programmes.”


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