About the Biofortification Hub

Mission:

To support, fund and connect academia, industry and policymakers to collaboratively pursue shared research priorities in the area of biofortification.

To promote collaborative interactions and research projects between industry and academia as well as to support the UK biofortification community by disseminating opportunities and information in health and nutrition.

The Biofortification Hub combines expertise in soil, crop genetics, food innovation and human health and nutrition. It will work closely on the biofortification of food and feed crops with farmers, food producers and retailers across the supply chain.

We are hosted by Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB) and the John Innes Centre (JIC) on the Norwich Research Park.

Objectives:
  • Provide funding to innovative research projects in the area of biofortification
  • Promote interactions, collaborations and exchanges between industry and academia
  • Organise workshops and meetings to promote relationship building and address current and emerging challenges in the area of biofortification
  • Assemble a community of food producers, industry, policymakers and scientific researchers who collectively can take robust actions toward improving the biofortification of food, feed and fodder in the UK
  • Identify areas of research need and opportunity that will have significant impacts on food, feed and fodder biofortification in the UK
  • Support the UK biofortification community by disseminating opportunities and information in health and nutrition
Scope:

The Biofortification Hub is open to a wide range of classic as well as sustainable, complementary and novel approaches to biofortification to make plants, food, feed and fodder more nutritious:

Classic approaches to make plants more nutritious:

  • Conventional selective breeding
  • Precision breeding (gene editing)
  • Genetic engineering
  • Agronomic practices

Sustainable, complementary and novel approaches:

  • Biofortification through controlled environment agriculture
  • Fermentation
  • Improved bio-availability (mixing / improving food products)
  • Reformulation of existing food and feed products
  • Secondary biofortification (feed & fodder)
  • Pet food
Management:

The Biofortification Hub is led by Prof Martin Warren from the Quadram Institute and Prof Cathie Martin from the John Innes Centre.

It is managed by four committees composed of experts from academia and industry. This 28-strong team of UK and international scientists have a broad range of expertise and they lead, advise, organise, network and review grant proposals submitted to the Hub.

Executive Group (EG) including the Hub Manager. 5 members from:

  • Quadram Institute Bioscience
  • John Innes Centre
  • Campden BRI

Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) 8 members from:

  • University of East Anglia
  • Gs Growers
  • Rothamsted Research
  • The Royal Veterinary College
  • University of Surrey
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Core Membership Group (CMG). 13 members from:

  • Ulster University
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Lincoln
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Surrey
  • AB-Mauri
  • PepsiCo
  • Unilever
  • LettUs Grow
  • Quorn foods
  • Algenuity
  • New Era Foods

International Advisory Panel (IAP) 3 members from:

  • HarvestPlus
  • Unige (Université de Genève)
  • Ghent University

The Biofortification Hub is part of a network of 6 BBSRC Innovation Hubs established in 2022 as part of the Diet and Health Open Innovation Research Club (OIRC). It has received funding to operate for five years from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research & Innovation, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the government. The Hub is hosted by research institutes that are strategically supported by BBSRC.

Membership of the Biofortification Hub is open and free. Apply on the Membership page if you would like to join.