Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: International wheat yield partnership

The International Wheat Yield partnership (IWYP) brings together funding from public and private international research organisations. This unique collaboration aligns with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) strategic priority in agriculture and global food security.

$64 million between 2015 and 2020
An ongoing international partnership, started in 2012.
Funding and research partners involved:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology of India (DBT), French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE), Grains Research and Development Corporation of Australia (GRDC), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico (SADER), Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Private partners involved: BASF, Intergrain, KWS, Limagrain, LongReach, Mahyco, Pioneer, RAGT Seeds, SeedCo, Syngenta.

The scope and what we're doing

IWYP targets six key research areas:

  1. Uncovering genetic variation that creates the differences in carbon fixation and partitioning between wheat lines.
  2. Harnessing genes from wheat and other species through genetic modification to boost carbon capture and fixation to increase biomass production.
  3. Optimising wheat development and growth to improve grain yields and harvest index.
  4. Developing elite wheat lines for use in other breeding programmes.
  5. Building on discoveries in wheat relatives and other species.
  6. Fostering breakthrough technology development that can transform wheat breeding.

Why we're doing it

Wheat is the most widely grown crop across the globe.

The goal of the IWYP is to increase the genetic wheat potential by 50% by 2035. To do so, IWYP has brought together public and private research organisations around the world, aiming to invest up to US$100 million in research. By fostering these alliances, IWYP provides a new approach to funding and conducting internationally competitive research projects.

At their completion, these innovative, high risk projects will substantially boost global wheat productivity and contribute to meeting rising global demand.

Opportunities, support and resources available

To reinforce its portfolio, IWYP integrates the outputs of eight IWYP aligned projects. These are scientifically excellent research projects funded outside IWYP, but within the programme’s research scope. This flexible research model ensures the exchange of information and knowledge, and the progress of common research goals.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

IWYP has so far run two competitive research opportunities, funding a total of 14 research projects.

The IWYP’s first funding opportunity for proposals resulted in eight research projects being funded, five of which were led by UK-based research organisations. These projects focused on increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis and unlocking the genetic code behind wheat yield.

Following IWYP’s second funding opportunity for proposals, six research projects have been funded. The scope of this second funding opportunity focused on increasing carbon capture and flow into grains, as well as modifying current breeding methods to produce fast-growing and environment-adaptable wheat hybrids.

Through IWYP’s second funding opportunity, BBSRC has supported the UK components of five collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects worth £4.9 million ($6.4 million).

Find details of the UK projects IWYP and BBSRC has funded.

IWYP has also collaborated with the US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to run a separate competitive research funding opportunity that has funded seven research projects. The projects involved various research institutions in the US, UK, Germany and Mexico.

Who to contact

You can contact any of these people

Ivette Hernandez Negrete


Jef Grainger


Jeff Gwyn


Last updated: 15 January 2024

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