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Solving the problem of feeding a growing population - major new centre for bioscience research opened by Minister

A major new research facility which is working to address one of the biggest 21st century challenges - how to feed a growing global population while protecting the environment - has been opened by the Education and Skills Minister Leighton Andrews.
Monday 14 May 2012

The new building for the Institute of Biological, Environment and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University’s Penglais campus is one of two developments opened on the same day.  A sister facility at Gogerddan, the National Plant Phenomics Centre, will feature the most advanced greenhouse in the UK as the centrepiece of a new Institute for International Plant Breeding.

Aberystwyth University and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have invested £26 million and the Welsh Government £16.5 million, in recent capital developments associated with IBERS and the wider Biosciences and Environment Alliance between Aberystwyth and Bangor universities.Since its formation, IBERS has thrived thanks in part to support from the Welsh Government and HEFCW, which have invested £23.5 million in the institute.  This has helped to unlock further funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and other agencies.

Leighton Andrews said:

“IBERS is one of our leading research facilities in Wales. Much of the work undertaken at the institution is genuinely world class and will make a real difference to people around the world.

“The science practised at IBERS is helping people in the developing world to survive drought and crop disease, working on improved food safety at home and enabling Welsh businesses to capitalise on new commercial opportunities.

“IBERS also has a major contribution to make in two of the ‘grand challenge’ areas announced in our Science for Wales strategy – life sciences and low carbon, energy and environment.

“This superb facility for research and teaching in the land-based sciences is a great example of the kind of cutting-edge Higher Education the Welsh Government wants to see. Our significant capital investment in Aberystwyth University is a clear example of our ambitious agenda for science and innovation here in Wales.

“This new centre will develop the University’s reputation as a globally-significant centre of bioscience research which should be celebrated.”

 

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