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.
BEAA's large-scale research designing and testing alternative grazing
management systems for
the uplands has achieved impact on the environment and economy.
Environmental policy and its
implementation via agri-environment schemes has been directly and
indirectly influenced, with the
evidence provided by the research vital to the development of grazing
prescriptions and related
payment structures by government agencies and conservation bodies. The
results have also
benefitted the upland farming community by identifying opportunities for
improved productivity and
hence economic viability; through e.g. more efficient use of pasture
resources leading to higher
growth rates for forage-based systems and reduced reliance on purchased
feed and fertiliser.
Impact: Economic / animal health and welfare / environment:
Improved profitability and
sustainability of the UK dairy industry.
Significance: The use of the Profitable Lifetime Index (£PLI)
increased the profitability of the
dairy sector by an estimated £634M in 2008-2013 and reduced the greenhouse
from the sector by an estimated 8.4%.
Beneficiaries: Dairy producers, breeding companies, general
public/environment, dairy cattle
welfare and health.
Attribution: Drs Wall, Mrode (SRUC), and Brotherstone (UoE),
Profs. Coffey, Simm, Stott,
Veerkamp, Oldham (SRUC), and Woolliams (UoE/Roslin)
Reach: UK dairy industry. Tools developed, such as the routine
recording of body condition
score, and using these data in national genetic evaluations, have been
internationally, including in major dairy genetics exporting countries
such as the USA, Canada,
the Netherlands and New Zealand.
BEAA has created a world leading collection of Miscanthus genetic
resources. This collection and
associated expertise has led to an impact on commerce through investments
by industry in
Miscanthus science and plant breeding. Miscanthus is a
highly productive grass which naturally
occurs in Asia and is of interest as an energy crop worldwide. A second
impact has therefore also
been achieved through the implementation of international policy on the
fair and equitable use of
natural resources. The experience and knowledge gained through this impact
has provided an
example for others to follow and is being used to support UK and EU
legislation and policymaking.
Yield of valuable biomass fibre components and their utilization in the
food industry has been maximised by novel, cost-effective and
environment-friendly plant fibre extraction methods developed by BEAA.
Specifically, application of these methods enabled patenting and
commercialisation of oat fibre extraction by the Swedish company BioVelop,
directly resulting in commercial impact through international sales of
five nutritional products released since 2010. The most successful of
these is produced at a quantity of 180,000 kg, or € 600,000 per year. In
May 2013, world-leading food-additive giant Tate & Lyle took over
BioVelop, securing the success and lasting commercial impact of the BEAA
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.
Impact: Economic: Genomic selection has revolutionised, and is now
standard practice, in the major dairy cattle, pig and chicken breeding
programmes, worldwide and provides multiple quantifiable benefits to
breeders, producers, consumers and animals.
Significance: Increased food production world-wide
Beneficiaries: Breeding companies, primary producers, consumers,
Attribution: Work led by Haley and Woolliams (Roslin Institute now
part of UoE).
Reach: Methodologies applied worldwide in livestock improvement,
and more recently applied in human genetics and plant breeding.
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
Impact: Economic, animal health and welfare: Genetic markers have
enabled selection of salmon
lines with improved virus resistance
Significance: UK salmon industry benefit estimated at ~£26
million/annum GVA following
identification of a genetic trait conferring resistance to an economically
devastating viral disease.
Beneficiaries: Salmon farming industry, consumers
Attribution: Work performed by Houston, Bishop, Woolliams and
Haley (Roslin Institute, now part
Reach: Aquaculture industry internationally, i.e. Europe and South
Research using novel techniques of genetic marker-aided selection enabled
the development of new high yield, disease- and drought-resistant pearl
millet hybrids, of which HHB67-Improved was released throughout
India. HHB67-Improved is the first product of marker-assisted
breeding to reach cereal producers in India and has spread rapidly since
its release, preventing yield losses to downy mildew of up to 30% (valued
at £7.8M) per year, and providing £2.6M additional annual grain yield. By
2011, it was grown on over 700,000 ha and currently three million people
have improved food security as a direct result of this international
development focused work.