Sector Spotlight Agri BioTech

At Norwich Research Park the knowledge of plants and microbes is used to address global societal challenges, such as food production, climate change and improving human and animal health. Multidisciplinary research on the Park that directly impacts crop resilience, helps to combat disease and increases yield benefiting both agriculture and the environment.

Research Focus

Crop Yield

Genomic analysis, bioinformatics, mathematical modelling and imaging techniques has advanced the understanding of how genes influence crop yield. A multidisciplinary approach resulting in enhanced crop performance and increased yields in global crops such as wheat and oilseed rape.

Precision Agriculture

Digital analysis, advanced imaging and the manipulation of big data is enabling researchers to evaluate crop performance in the field. Collaborative work between scientists, technology developers, breeders and farmers is accelerating the realisation of commercial benefits from this emerging technology.

Crop Resilience

The pressure from pests, pathogens, poor nutrition and adverse environmental conditions can substantially reduce crop yields. Advances in our understanding of the genetic basis for resilience in wheat and brassicas is supporting breeders to develop improved varieties that will improve the sustainability of agricultural production.

Crop Quality

New insights into plant genetics and metabolism, combined with nutritional and clinical studies, is guiding the identification and characterisation of health giving plant natural products and complex carbohydrates. This work is generating opportunities to increase the quality and value of both specialty and commodity crops.

  • Agri BioTech
  • Agri BioTech
  • Agri BioTech

Key research organisations

  • John Innes Centre: world leading international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology.

  • The Sainsbury Laboratory: world leading laboratory for fundamental research in the science of plant-microbe interactions.

  • The Earlham Institute: one of the UK leading institutes of world scale, applying genomics and bioinformatics to advance plant, animal and microbial research.

  • University of East Anglia: UK top 15 university, world top 1% and world leader in environmental sciences with major faculties in Science and Medicine.

Key business organisations

  • Germains Seed Technology: the world’s largest supplier of seed coating and enhancement technology products, systems and solutions to maximise the potential of seed in the field.

  • New Heritage Barley: a boutique plant breeding company re-evaluating heritage barley varieties for commercial production and for the development of new elite varieties.

  • Anglia Capital Group: investor network with a focus on agri-tech.


  • Germplasm Resources Unit: a national capability that curates thousands of current and historic crop lines and other plants in a controlled environment. This represents the most comprehensive collection of UK small grain cereal germplasm.

  • Genome Enterprise Ltd: delivers nextgeneration sequencing and associated bioinformatic analysis. Services include whole genome sequencing, exome sequencing, transciptomics, metagenomics, methylation sequencing and optical mapping.

  • John Innes Enterprise Ltd: provide contract research and consultancy services in plant and microbial genetics, synthetic biology, metabolic pathway engineering, crop improvement and bespoke bioassays for plant pests and pathogens.

  • Virtual Technology Research and Facilities site: an on-line portal that provides access to a range of research equipment, facilities and platform services such as imaging and protein analysis. www.norwichresearchpark. com/researchfacilities/home.aspx


  • Science: shared equipment, controlled environment rooms, field trial facilities and glasshouses.
  • Space: wide range of commercial laboratories and offices on flexible leases with access to shared laboratory facilities and equipment.
  • Amenities: café, meeting rooms, free on-site parking and Wi-Fi for visitors.

Park Occupier Benefits

  • Timebank providing free business mentoring by professional service providers.
  • Enterprise Zone business rate discounts.
  • UK Science Park Association and One Nucleus membership benefits.
  • Discounted meeting room rates.
Agri BioTech

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