This information portal is the first step in creating an International Barley Hub, an ambitious development to create a world-leading centre to translate excellence in barley research and innovation into economic, social and environmental benefits. Funding for the Hub was green-lighted as part of an investment package of £62 million directed at two innovation centre projects to be located at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee which will also see the Advanced Plant Growth Centre become a reality.
The IBH will link industry-focussed research with innovation to deliver immediate impact and ensure the long-term sustainability of the UK and international agriculture, brewing, distilling, food, and non-food sectors.
Barley researchers, growers, processors and producers are all supporting the creation of the International Barley Hub, recognising the need for collaboration to overcome challenges faced across the barley sector.
The establishment of the IBH creates many opportunities, such as, improving product quality, processability and competitiveness for companies using barley as a key ingredient in their products and expanding the variety and range of uses for this globally important crop, thereby protecting and adding to the considerable value it has within the global bio-economy.
The investment funding comes under the Tay Cities Deal development programme and it is hoped that plans can be taken swiftly from the approved business case to a fully functioning new centre by 2022. In the interim the partners are working under a ‘virtual Hub’ umbrella that is already delivering projects and benefits from increased collaboration, improved understanding of business needs and priorities and increased connectivity within the sector.
Who is involved?
The IBH is underpinned by the research excellence of the James Hutton Institute, University of Dundee, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Abertay University, the Rowett Institute and others. Businesses and sectoral interest groups such as the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, Maltsters Associate of GB and the National Farmers Union Scotland form part of the demand side of the IBH project consortium.
What will it deliver?
The alliance of the research, technological and business interests recognise the potential to develop the crop beyond current patterns of cultivation and use to deliver:
• step changes in UK and global barley production and use
• resilience across the supply and value chains from primary grower to end user and
• expansion into new areas such as non-food uses.
To do this the Barley Hub will:
• expand the scale and excellence of research and innovation;
• increase the translation and application of this research around the globe;
• invest in the skills and knowledge of the plant science research and innovation community and
• support a Barley Cluster.
How will the IBH do this
When fully operational, the bespoke Invergowrie-based Hub will offer:
• a globally unrivalled research and industry support facility;
• an expanded research programme operating across a broad spectrum;
• enhanced industry-related and applied research;
• state of the art capital research equipment on site and at industry partners;
• a supporting skills and knowledge programme.
While this ambitious project takes shape physically, the barley research community at the James Hutton Institute have created this portal as a virtual home for the collaboration, information-sharing and cross-fertilisation of ideas and activities. Please explore it, share it and add to it!