Establishing a UK Plant Sciences Federation

28th Feb 2011

Representatives of a number of stakeholders, including research communities, learned societies and industrial groupings were invited to a meeting on the 31st January 2011 at NIAB, to discuss the possibility of establishing a UK Plant Sciences Federation.

This discussion meeting was based on a white paper made publically available via the UK Plant Science website during December 2010.

Those present at the meeting discussed the need to establish a federation and the possible goals of a federation these included:-


Why set up a UK Plant Science Federation

• Current strategic drivers such as food security and climate change have increased the profile of plant science.

• The wealth of UK Plant Science R&D is well positioned to address global challenges

• The need to present a cohesive front and single point of contact to international communities

• A perceived lack of cohesion of research strategy in political and economic terms

• Provide an effective single voice for plant science to communicate with funders, stakeholders and government. 


Goals for a UK Plant Science Federation

• Provide a single consensus voice for the UK Plant Science R&D community

• Promote information exchange and collaboration amongst and between communities

• Expand the UK Plant Science research base

• Identify the grand challenges in Plant Science and outline how the UK is best placed to answer these

• Identifying the roles, requirements, uniqueness and priorities for Plant Science in the UK and articulate these to funders, stakeholders, government and the public.

• Increase the understanding and importance of Plant Science amongst funders, stakeholders, government and the public

• Help to increase the funding available to UK Plant Science.


Meeting Outcomes

• There was a unanimous vote for establishing a UK Plant Science Federation in principle

• The Society of Biology was selected as the most appropriate vehicle to establish the UK Plant Science Federation.

• A UK Plant Science Meeting to showcase the wealth of UK Plant Science is planned for spring 2012.


What next

A Steering Group was convened to:

• Ensure the current momentum is maintained.

• Establish a constitution for the Federation in discussion with the Society of Biology

• Prepare a revised version of the White Paper, based on the outcomes of the meeting on the 31st Jan.


Minutes of the meeting are available to download below


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