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John Innes Centre

The John Innes Centre is a world-leading international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology.

Their mission is to generate knowledge of plants and microbes through innovative research, to train scientists for the future, to apply knowledge of nature’s diversity to benefit agriculture, the environment, human health, and wellbeing, and engage with policy makers and the public. The John Innes Centre  fosters a creative, curiosity-driven approach to fundamental questions in bio-science, with a view to translating that into societal benefits.

Over the last 100 years, the John Innes Centre has achieved a range of fundamental breakthroughs, resulting in major societal impacts. For every £1 invested in the John Innes Centre £14 is generated for the wider UK economy.

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In 2020 John Innes Centre and fellow Park Partner The Sainsbury Laboratory published a new joint vision, Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet (HP3). This vision is a collaborative call to action to bringing knowledge, skills and innovation together to create a world where we can sustainably feed a growing population, mitigate the effects of climate change and use our understanding of plants and microbes to develop foods and discover compounds to improve public health.


HP3 outlines a revolution in plant and microbial sciences, integrating advances in genetics, genomics, structural biology, live cell imaging and computational biology leading to new levels of understanding, and to strengthen the position of the UK as a global leader in plant and microbial science.

The John Innes Centre’s (JIC) research has significant economic impact – strengthening businesses, creating jobs and training the next generation of scientists. To access cutting-edge technologies, partner with our experts or develop innovative scientific solutions, contact the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation team:


JIC has an international outlook, this not only strengthens the research output but also means that the science is translated into societal impact on a world-wide scale. It proactively translates its research outcomes through partnerships, both with industry and the creation of spin-out and start-up companies, supporting it’s own mission and the mission of the Norwich Research Park.


Since 2007, the JIC has created nine spin-out companies, six of these are based on the Park and are working to develop:


  • diagnostic tests for influenza and other viral and bacterial diseases (Iceni Diagnostics)
  • vaccine candidates for Ebola, HIV and Rift Valley Fever (Leaf Expression Systems),
  • nano-medicines to combat MRSA (Procarta),
  • aeroponic production systems for crops and medicinal plants (GroPod)
  • and anti-inflammatory plant natural products for skincare (Persephone Bio).


In 2016 JIC incubated its first spin-in company, Tropic Biosciences, which migrated to its own laboratory facilities on the Park in 2018.

These companies employ 53 staff and since 2017 have attracted inward investment of £16m. They collectively support an emerging business cluster that encompasses Agri Biotech, Med Tech and Industrial Biotech.


With cross synergies these companies are commercialising innovations that build on JIC’s primary research outputs and reinvesting in JIC’s fundamental research programme.


JIC is strategically funded by the UKRI-BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council),and is supported by the John Innes Foundation through provision of research accommodation, capital funding and long-term support of the Rotation PhD programme.

Contact details

The John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park
Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1603 450000


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