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Cambridge Centre for Crop Science

crop science squareThe Cambridge Centre for Crop Science (3CS) is a new and unique translational research operation in crop sciences. It is a partnership between the University of Cambridge and NIAB. 3CS will be led and shaped by the newly-appointed Geiger Professor of Crop Sciences.

The vision of 3CS is to facilitate a step change in translational research on food security and crop science. Multidisciplinary research programmes will be based on cutting-edge bioscience and innovative agronomy, maximising the potential of new and existing germplasm. They will generate new ways of growing crops for food, fuel, industrial feedstocks and pharmaceuticals, increase nutritional quality of crops and lead to new technology in sustainable intensification of production methods and post-harvest processing.

The Centre will act as a focal point for crop science in Cambridge. This will facilitate and encourage partnerships with industry – on individual projects and for large scale strategic alliances. Additionally, it will aid with securing funding for collaborative projects, and allow for the training of a new generation of crop scientists. 

The research undertaken under the banner of 3CS will focus on interdisciplinarity, diversification and global relevance. 3CS will support work on core crops of maize, wheat, rice and soybean, but put emphasis on advances relevant to orphan crops in developing countries, providing truly global relevance.

A new physical site

A new, purpose built Crop Science Building is under construction on the NIAB Huntingdon Road site.  When completed, it will act as an extension of the existing Department of Plant Sciences, and through co-location of University and NIAB staff it will facilitate cross pollination of ideas and approaches.  Bringing crop science researchers together under a single roof will generate increased translational activities and impact from research.

Researchers will benefit from access to new plant growth facilities at NIAB’s Park Farm site. These will have the ability to simulate a wide range of growing conditions, enabling the impact of varied climates, and of climate change, to be studied. Shared office facilities will maximise communication and interaction, and accommodate academic visitors from international partnerships.

Images by permission of Smith Evans Architects:

Plan of the new building
Architects impression