World news story

Newton Fund: Research for food security

A new collaboration between the United Kingdom and four countries in Asia will be offering grants for research projects focusing on the resilience and sustainability of rice production in the region.

UK - Vietnam agriculture cooperation

Associate Professor Le Huy Ham, Director of Agricultural Genetics Institute (AGI), Vietnam introduced the AGI’s plant research to FCO Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Robin Grimes.

A call for collaborative proposals has been announced and the purpose is to build on the combined strengths of academic research groups within China, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK to work together on collaborative interdisciplinary research that will underpin the long-term sustainable production of rice.

As part of the regional initiative under the Newton Fund, the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, along with the UK Natural Environment Research Council, and Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology are calling for submissions of research proposals to address the following challenges, specifically for Vietnamese context:

  • Greater resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses

  • Improved resource use efficiency (including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Water)

  • Improved quality of rice (including nutritional enhancement and grain quality)

  • Utilisation of rice by-products

  • Novel research tool and technology development supporting the above areas (including systems biology, bioinformatics, screening and characterisation of germplasm for gene and trait discovery)

Projects should be up to a maximum duration of 3 years and all proposals will require a UK Principal Investigator as well as a Vietnamese Principal Investigator with the options of Principal Investigators from other partner countries.

Deadline for application: 13 August 2015

Rice is eaten every day by more than half the world’s population. Asia consumes 90% of the worlds rice. Ensuring there is enough affordable, good quality rice is fundamental for the food and nutritional security of Asian populations. Rising demands however mean that the annual rice harvest will have to increase by about 10 million tons every year over the next two decades.

For more information on this opportunity, Click here.

Published 22 June 2015