NIAB is the UK’s fastest-growing crop science organisation, with rapidly-expanding research capabilities in plant genetics, agronomy, farming systems and data science, the largest national field trials capability, and strong research links with industry, government and academia. Employing more than 300 people across the UK, NIAB provides scientific research, technical services and practical advice to improve the yield, efficiency and resilience of crop production across the arable, forage and horticulture sectors.
Established in 1919 to assess the merits of arable varieties and seed quality, NIAB now works on a wide range of crops, from cereals and oilseeds to potatoes, ornamentals, non-food crops and top and soft fruit. It produces new genetic diversity in pre-breeding material, mainly for arable crops, as well as plant breeding services for the fruit sector. It is also unique in being an independent science-based research organisation with a very large farmer and industry-based membership who help to ensure that research outcomes are transferred into practice.
Privatised in 1996, with charitable status, NIAB is a not-for-profit organisation, re-investing all its income into future research in crop science and production. With headquarters in Cambridge and regional offices across the country, NIAB spans the crop improvement pipeline, with the specialist knowledge, skills and facilities required to support the improvement of agricultural and horticultural crop varieties, to evaluate their performance and quality, and to ensure these advances are transferred into on-farm practice through efficient agronomy. The acquisition of The Arable Group in 2009, the University of Cambridge Potato Agronomy Unit (now NIAB CUF) in 2014 and East Malling Research (now NIAB EMR) in 2016 has broadened the range of crop expertise that now resides within the NIAB Group.
- Headquarters in Cambridge
- 10 regional centres (Cambridge, East Malling, Morley, Sutton Scotney, Benniworth, Headley Hall, Kirton, Shropshire, Hereford, Newton Abbot)
- 3 specialist centres (NIAB EMR, NIAB CUF and the Eastern AgriGate Research Hub)
- 100+ field trials sites, 100,000+ plots
- Over 300 staff across a range of specialities
Chief Executive: Dr Tina Barsby
Chief Operating Officer: David Neill
Turnover 2014/15: £15.6 million
Number of staff: 300