NIAB is at the centre of innovation in crop science in the UK and across the world.
Established in 1919 to assess the merits of varieties and seed quality, NIAB has grown in size, expanding its cropping and research expertise to the extent that it is now a major international research organisation in plant science, crop evaluation and agronomy.
With expertise in genetics and breeding, varieties and seeds and agronomy, NIAB works on a wide range of crops from cereals and oilseeds to potatoes, ornamentals, non-food crops and top and soft fruit. We produce new genetic diversity in pre-breeding material for arable crops, as well as plant breeding services for the fruit sector.
The need for innovation in plant breeding and agronomy has never been greater. With a growing global population, food security issues are a concern. Crop science and technology has a vital role to play in boosting productivity, conserving resources and coping with climate change.
Plant science into practice
NIAB is unique in being an independent science-based research organisation with a very large farmer and industry-based membership who help to ensure that research outcomes are transferred into practice.
Privatised in 1996 NIAB is a not-for-profit organisation with independent charitable status. We re-invest all of our income into future research in crop science and production.
NIAB’s scientific capabilities span the crop improvement pipeline, from the first cross through to the harvested crop. We have the specialist knowledge, skills and facilities required to support the improvement of agricultural and horticultural crops, to evaluate varietal performance and quality and ensure these advances are transferred effectively onto farm through efficient agronomy.
The acquisition of The Arable Group (now NIAB TAG) in 2009, the University of Cambridge Potato Agronomy Unit (now NIAB CUF) in 2014, East Malling Research (now NIAB EMR) in 2016 and BCPC in 2019 has broadened the range of crop expertise that now resides within the NIAB Group.
Published in 2020 'Looking forward to 2025' sets out the NIAB’s strategic objectives for the next five years.