BEAA research on high sugar grasses (HSG's) led to the breeding of HSG
varieties that have had
a significant impact on the contribution of grassland to livestock feeding
across the UK. Their
impact on the economy, commerce and the production of livestock products
has been significant in
the UK and increasingly in other countries. HSG varieties currently
account for over 28% of the
perennial ryegrass seed sales in the UK, with over 150,000 ha sown in the
UK alone of these
varieties since 2008, as their positive benefit on the economics of
livestock production from grass
and environmental benefit through reduced N pollution from livestock
production is recognised.
AU Research has had impact through the shaping of policies, practices and
behaviours affecting biodiversity
and ecosystem services (ESS) across a wide range of beneficiaries. The
research has involved developing
methods for valuing ESS, and subsequently mainstreaming this ESS framework
Research conducted at BEAA has made a significant contribution to the
conservation of grassland fungi (notably waxcap fungi) through changes to
policy decisions as they related to fungal conservation, including the
provision of specialist advice that has led to the notification of two
SSSIs (sites of special scientific interest) and to changes in SSSI
notification guidelines. BEAA research has also enhanced public
understanding and awareness of fungal conservation through `citizen
science' activities, public lectures, radio programmes, film productions
such as Disneynature's Chimpanzee, as well as articles in
newspapers and widely-read magazines. These wider achievements are based
on underpinning science to address survey methodologies, taxonomic issues
and the elucidation of the basic biology of grassland fungi, all of which
are essential for effective conservation strategies.
Impact: Policy, Animal Health and Welfare: Improved sow and piglet
welfare and recommendations and codes of practice for farrowing and
lactation systems that better meet sow and piglet needs.
Significance: Farrowing crates restrict sow movements interfering
with natural sow behaviour and increasing psychological distress. Used
predominantly to protect piglets, SRUC research demonstrated that piglet
survival improved in loose-housed environments, undermining crate use.
Beneficiaries: Farmers, sows and piglets, the general public
Attribution: Drs Baxter and Jarvis, Professors Lawrence and Roehe
(SRUC). Research collaboration was with Prof Sandra Edwards, University of
Reach: International legislative bans on farrowing crates;
voluntary industry uptake of non-crate systems; EU
recommendations/legislation on housing at farrowing, guidelines for
keeping pigs (e.g. RSPCA Freedom Food).
Impact: Policy and economic: Introduction of the concept of High
Nature-Value (HNV) Farming
and embedding this into EU Rural Development Policy: Guidelines and policy
exploiting the concept have been refined such that the EC has incorporated
the care of HNV into
legislation and Rural Development planning.
Significance: HNV farming recognises that sustaining or enhancing
biodiversity is a central
feature of the management of rural areas.
Attribution: Prof. McCracken (SRUC)
Beneficiaries: Policy makers in all Member States of the EU.
Reach: All EU member states. It is estimated that HNV farming
systems are being practiced on
30% (i.e. 52 million ha) of EU agricultural land.
Impact: Economic, public policy and animal health and welfare:
Selective breeding based upon identification of PRNP genotypes can
eliminate animals that are susceptible to scrapie from the flock.
Significance: UK sheep meat exports are worth >£380million.
Breeding for scrapie resistance protected the sheep industry from similar
damage to that inflicted by BSE on cattle and the UK economy.
Beneficiaries: Farmers, animals, consumers
Attribution: Professor Hunter and Dr. Goldmann (Roslin Institute,
now part of UoE) identified polymorphisms of the PrP (PRNP) gene
linked to scrapie susceptibility and resistance in sheep.
Reach: International, programmes breeding for resistance to
scrapie in sheep are now used in the UK, Europe and USA.
Platinum Group Elements (PGE) are critical strategic metals because of
their unrivalled applications in catalysts, fuel cells and electronics and
cancer therapies. Research and analytical methods developed at Cardiff
have impacted on exploration for new PGE deposits, and more efficient
processing of PGE ores by international mining companies. A key milestone
between 2009 and 2012 was the discovery of a 3 billion year old giant
impact crater in West Greenland. This discovery is of major economic
significance because all craters previously found in this size class are
associated with multi-billion dollar mineral and/or hydrocarbon resources.
It led to an intellectual property transaction worth CDN$ 2.1 million and
discovery of nickel and PGE deposits in Greenland by North American Nickel
Femtocells provide short-range (e.g. 10m) wireless coverage which enables
a conventional cellular communication system to be accessed indoors. Their
widespread and growing use has been aided by the work in UoA11 by the
University of Bedfordshire (UoB).
In 2008, while the femtocell concept was still in its infancy,
researchers at UoB with expertise in wireless networks recognised that
coverage prediction and interference reduction techniques would be
essential if the benefits of that concept were to be realised.
Collaboration with two industrial partners (an international organisation
and a regional SME) resulted in tools that enable operators to simulate
typical femtocell deployment scenarios, such as urban, dense apartments,
terraced house and small offices, before femtocells can be reliably
deployed by users without affecting the rest of the network (a benefit of
the technology). These tools have been deployed by those partners to
support their businesses. A widely-cited textbook, written for network
engineers, researchers and final year students, has brought knowledge of
femtocell operation to a wider audience.
The results of commissioned research by Aberystwyth University (AU) have
shaped decision-making that led to the relocation of refugee Roma,
Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE) communities in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo. In
2009/2010 AU research unequivocally identified the source of elevated lead
(Pb) levels in soils that had been blamed for high infant and adult
mortality rates in RAE refugee camps, and established that Roma Mahalla
had sufficiently low soil Pb levels to permit the construction of a
purpose-built housing development for the RAE communities. Following the
relocation of the RAE families to Roma Mahalla in 2010/2011 there has been
a significant reduction in blood Pb levels in children with no reported
deaths attributable to Pb poisoning. This AU research project has had a
demonstrable positive impact on life quality and human health of the
resettled RAE communities living in Mitrovica.
Oats are recognised as a healthy grain reducing the risk of coronary
heart disease and as a
valuable grain for livestock feed. Research within BEAA has provided the
and agronomic knowledge that underpins the breeding of high yielding
husked and naked oat
varieties that meets the needs of end-users in the human food and
livestock sectors. BEAA bred
oat varieties account for approximately 65% of the UK market and have a
significant impact on
health and welfare, the economy and on production and support the
expanding instant oat
breakfast market sector that alone is worth £160million per annum.