Our Impact

Our impact

The John Innes Centre's blend of research spans the spectrum from new discoveries in fundamental science to strategic applications to practical outcomes for agriculture and human health.

Strategic funding through the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) enables our research to underpin benefits for today and for the future


Download a PDF version of our Economic and Societal Impact infographic

Economic impact

In 2013, an independent report by Brookdale Consulting found that every £1 invested in research at the John Innes Centre, results in a £12 return on that investment in 10 years.

Read the full report by Brookdale Consulting (2013)

Based on the Brookdale Consulting report, our projected economic and societal impact is outlined in an infographic (right).


Our scientific role in UK agriculture

Throughout our 100 plus year history, the John Innes Centre, incorporating the John Innes Institute and Plant Breeding Institute, has made a significant contribution to UK Agriculture. Find out more about these significant developments.


To find out more about the impact of our research areas, visit:

Molecules from Nature     Genes in the Environment     Plant Health     Designing Future Wheat

Bred, grown and sold in the UK – Beneforté broccoli

A new broccoli, Beneforté, is on sale in major UK supermarkets. Developed by Professor Richard Mithen and colleagues at JIC, the new variety has high levels of a key phytonutrient, glucoraphanin which has been shown to have beneficial effects on human health such as reducing chronic inflammation and stopping uncontrolled cell division associated with early stages of cancer. A few portions of the broccoli eaten every week will lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Plants as mini factories for pharmaceuticals and industry

Technology invented at JIC is driving a revolution in the speed at which large volumes of vaccines and other valuable proteins can be produced. Using a plant virus, JIC scientists, Prof George Lomonossoff and Frank Sainsbury produced pharmaceutically-relevant proteins in plants such as an avian flu vaccine reducing production times for 10 million doses from nine months to 30 days. This has led to the formation of multimillion dollar vaccine business in Canada and the USA.

End in sight to seed loss in oilseed rape

Each year oilseed rape farmers lose around 15% of their harvest because the pods of the plant open in the field and disperse the seeds. In 2011 resulted in £165 million of lost income.

Prof Lars Ostergaard and colleagues at JIC have developed a technology to moderate levels of a plant the hormone, gibberellin to control pod-shattering. Working with plant breeders the technology is being used to develop improved oilseed rape varieties. 

Building resistance to the most damaging disease of wheat

Resistance to fungicides is increasing. Each year UK wheat farmers can lose 30% of their yield to infection by a single fungus, Septoria. Professor James Brown and his team at JIC broke the connection between Septoria resistance and a reduction in yield (yield penalty) which had hampered breeding efforts. Using the new molecular markers, plant breeders have developed more durable Septoria resistant wheats reducing the dependence on chemical control with fungicides.

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