Healthy Plants – Healthy People – Healthy Planet

A vision to deliver solutions to global challenges, securing a safer, healthier and more sustainable future through the power of plant and microbial science.

Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet (HP³) is a collaborative call to action to provide the solutions needed in a world with a rapidly changing climate, facing massive losses in biodiversity, a growing global population to feed and the urgent need to decarbonise agricultural practices. All of these challenges require science to play a critical role in delivering solutions. HP3 addresses three critical challenges facing the planet which must be addressed in a rapidly closing window of time.

These are:

  • Feeding the world – by sustainably increasing crop yields
  • Combatting global health threats – such as antimicrobial resistance and viral pandemics
  • Meeting the challenge of climate change – developing crops resilient to environmental fluctuations and requiring inputs that are low carbon

In 2023 the John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory’s Next Generation Infrastructure programme received essential funding from the UKRI Infrastructure Fund, which invests in the facilities, equipment and resources that are essential for researchers and innovators to do ground-breaking work.

This investment will develop the site over the next seven years, with £54.7 million being invested over the first three years, and a total investment of £317.7 million from the Fund. The institutes have also secured £51 million in private capital investment to realise their ambitious scientific vision.

HP3 strengthens the position of the UK as a global leader in plant and microbial science, and this revolution in plant and microbial sciences is underpinned by transformative infrastructure redevelopment. This transformational investment will fund new cutting-edge, world-class facilities for the two research institutes at the heart of the Norwich Research Park, and will deliver a step change in our capability to translate scientific knowledge into bio-based solutions in response to some of society’s most pressing challenges.

As well as transforming the existing capabilities of the John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory, both internationally recognised centres of excellence in plant and microbial science, the new hub also aims to become a net-zero carbon laboratory.

Executive Director of The Sainsbury Laboratory, Professor Nick Talbot FRS said: “Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet is a strategy that will allow us to supercharge our capability in the UK, providing an un-paralleled understanding of the world’s most important crops, enabling us to grow food productively and sustainably.  If we are to feed the world’s growing population in a sustainable way, we will need to revolutionise our agriculture.  HP3 enables us to generate scientific understanding to make this a reality.

“This vision for a UK hub to unite the UK’s capability in plant and microbial science and to open up our research infrastructure to more researchers, universities and collaborators is an exciting step change in the capabilities and ways of working in this field.”

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