Aberystwyth University has received a £9.8 million funding boost for its Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) for work on resilient crops.

The university has said that the new resilient crops funding will support studies on perennial ryegrass, clover, oats and miscanthus.

The funding is part of a wider investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in life science research institutes and infrastructure totalling over £376 million between 2023 and 2028.

The research includes investigating reducing the environmental impact of livestock, developing tools to accelerate plant breeding and using biorefineries to boost plant-based products.

IBERS, located in Gogerddan near Aberystwyth, conducts research aimed at addressing global challenges like food security, bioenergy and sustainability and the impacts of climate change.

Head of IBERS at Aberystwyth University, Prof. Iain Donnison, said it was a great honour for the university to receive the “strategically important investment” from the BBSRC.

“The new funding gives us the opportunity to help agriculture to be more climate resilient as well as promote a renaissance in agricultural productivity and to develop a bioeconomy that tackles climate change while creating new industries and jobs within both rural and urban economies,” he said.

“IBERS convenes a unique group of grassland and plant breeding scientists, state-of-the-art research facilities and collaborative industry networks with one clear vision in mind: to ensure that humanity can sustainably produce the food, animal feed and plant based industrial resources it needs, both now and in the future.”


IBERS at Aberystwyth University is one of eight strategic research institutes supported by the investment of BBSRC as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Elizabeth Treasure, said: “This new funding is a great vote of confidence in the expert team at IBERS and its world-leading research in so many fields.

“Its work is vital, not only locally and nationally, but for the whole world.”

Executive chair of the BBSRC, Prof. Melanie Welham, said the institutes supported by BBSRC are a “vital component of the national and international bioscience research and innovation ecosystem”.

“As experts in their fields, these world-class research institutes provide the UK with the capability and connectivity needed to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the bioscience revolution,” she said.

“The investment BBSRC is making in its strategically supported institutes over the next five years will help deliver novel bio-based solutions to some of the greatest challenges we face as a society.

“Bioscience shapes our lives in so many different ways and as the UK’s major public funder of bioscience research and innovation, it is mission critical that BBSRC invests in world-class science that delivers benefits to society as a whole while driving economic growth and prosperity across the UK and beyond.”