University institute joins LEAF


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IBERS recognised as a sustainable farming research centre of excellence.

Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is joining sustainable farming organisation, Linking Environment and Farming’s (LEAF) UK network innovation centres and demonstration farms.  

IBERS is internationally recognised as a unique base for inter-disciplinary scientific research into the global challenges of food security, bioenergy, sustainability and the impacts of climate change.  

It joins 16 other research centres and 41 demonstration farms, who all make up the LEAF Network, which endeavours to demonstrate and develop more sustainable farming methods, delivered through Integrated Farm Management (IFM).

Speaking at the launch event, LEAF’s Technical Director Vicky Robinson said: “Research, innovation and their grass roots on-farm applications are the cornerstones of the LEAF Network. The UK is a world leader in research and the development of new thinking and technologies around more sustainable food production. Translating these ideas and innovations at a practical farm level is key to driving forward more resilient and regenerative global food and farming systems.

“This ‘science into practice approach’, combining research, development and knowledge exchange underpins the LEAF Network.  The new discoveries and ideas from our innovation centres are cascaded down to our demonstration farms who, in turn, test that they are practical and economically viable out in the field. Wider dissemination to the farming community is then driven through on-site visits, talks and training. In essence, it’s a great example of a circular approach to knowledge generation and exchange.

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“We are hugely honoured to welcome IBERS to our LEAF Network.  As well as developing the next generation of biologists, its research facilities covering plant genetics, phenotyping, biorefining and food processing together with the IBERS Biobank, will enable us to tap into a huge range of research outputs and engagement activities, for the benefit of our farmers, growers, members and the wider farming community.  We greatly look forward to forging a strong and exciting partnership with IBERS.”

Professor Iain Donnison, Head of IBERS added: “We are hugely proud to be launched as a LEAF Innovation Centre.   It signals our commitment to equipping farmers with the latest skills and know-how to address current challenges through Integrated Farm Management.  Being part of a UK network of leading research establishments will strengthen our reach to the wider farming community. It also offers an exciting and innovative platform to share ideas, expertise and insights into the development and delivery of more sustainable farming.”

IBERS was launched as a LEAF Innovation on the 25th May 2023.  It joins 16 other LEAF Innovation Centres –  Hartpury University, Agrii Throws Farm Technology Centre, Bangor University, Bayer Crop Science, the University of Reading’s Centre for Dairy Research, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Harper Adams University, The James Hutton Institute, Newcastle University Farms, NIAB EMR, Rothamsted Research North Wyke, The Royal Agricultural University, SRUC’s The Dairy Cattle Research and Innovation Centre, SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, and Stockbridge Technology Centre.

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