Impact on the UK and Global Economy

In 2022 the John Innes Centre was ranked among the top 10 institutions in the world by patent influence1.

Our bioscience research focusses on understanding the fundamental biological systems and we aim to translate these finding to impact sustainable food supply, improved health outcomes, and global socio-economic growth. The John Innes Centre and its research partners on the Norwich Research Park , are an important cluster that is drawing in investment from around the world as well as creating new spin outs.

To monitor the impact of our research we commissioned Brookdale Consulting to produce an updated socio-economic impact assessment which you can read in full here – JIC Impact Report 2022.

Summary of Socio-economic Impact 2022

The John Innes Centre’s research makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and the 2022 report highlights our position as a global leader in science, knowledge generation, and innovation.

The emerging socio-economic impacts from our research were quantified using case studies from across our patent portfolio and include impactful research in agri-tech for food security, health, and innovation in natural and new-to-nature chemicals.

This identified research impacts of £1.578 billion at the UK level over 10 years and a return on investment (RoI) of £15.29 per £1 invested, and rises to almost £6 billion over 25 years. This calculation is based on the sample of commercialisation projects and the research costs they represent (around a third of total operating costs).

We support 881 jobs and our operating impact generates £42.5 million of Gross Value Added (GVA) across the UK economy per year. Our ongoing training of PhD, Postdoc, master’s and undergraduate students provides an estimated £116 million of GVA at the UK level and £64 million to the rest of the world over 25 years.

Healthy Plants – Food security

With the global population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, our research on improving wheat and oilseed rape yields and mitigating the impact of vernalisation in brassicas is crucial for ensuring food security here in the UK and globally.

The John Innes Centre continues to be a major contributor to the UK’s strategic wheat programme, as well as undertaking other extensive ongoing research in wheat.  Our work is estimated to contribute £496 million GVA to the UK and £21.4 billion to the rest of the world through improved wheat productivity over the next 25 years.

Our research in reducing the need for vernalisation in high performance brassicas could make a major contribution to UK production with new higher yielding varieties.  These are estimated to potentially deliver £167 million GVA to the UK and £547 million to the rest of the world over the next 25 years.

By supporting development of less temperature sensitive oilseed rape the John Innes Centre could support impact of an estimated £72 million GVA to the UK and £530 million to the rest of the world over the next 25 years. Improving productivity of brassica crops will also encourage farmers to include such crops in rotations thus improving soil quality.

Healthy People – Healthier for longer

As the proportion of UK citizens living beyond 65 increases dramatically, JIC’s fundamental bioscience research on resistant starch, antibiotics, and other high-value compounds is critical to enabling people to stay healthy and active for longer. Antibiotics and global nutrition are key areas of research.

Research into antibiotics continues, with new discoveries having the potential to reduce the impact of MRSA. This research (with 10% attributable to the John Innes Centre) could reduce fatalities and decrease health care costs equivalent to £3.4 billion GVA in the UK and £24 billon in the rest of the world over the next 25 years.

Resistant starch could deliver major public health benefits if it is implemented into UK diets with potential savings to the UK healthcare system and improved productivity worth £661 million over 25 years. Vitamin D and iron enrichment are further areas of public health interest with substantial potential, especially amongst the elderly and potentially worth £287 million over the next 25 years based on attribution of 30%.

Healthy Planet – Sustainable products

Our bio-engineering research has the potential to deliver new more sustainable novel plant products, to develop renewable ‘low carbon’ chemicals, improving extraction sustainability and providing novel products to the pharmaceutical industry. The vaccine adjuvants market has grown rapidly and our technique for producing QS-21 could generate substantial market share delivering £56 million GVA to the UK and 1.6 billion to the rest of the world over the next 25 years.

The John Innes Centre’s work in environment and biodiversity, including strategic research into Xylella where preparedness is helping to safeguard the UK from the threat of incursion.  The value of this attributable to the John Innes Centre is estimated at £650 million to the UK over 25 years.

Key Stats and Facts

  • Return on investment (RoI) increased to £15.29 per £1 invested, based on a sample of commercialisation projects and research costs.
  • The John Innes Centre is expected to contribute £11.2 billion to the global economy over the next decade, and £54 billion over the next 25 years.
  • Our involvement in strategic wheat research is estimated to be worth £496m in the UK, and £21bn globally over the next 25 years.
  • We support 881 jobs in the UK economy.
  • JIC’s extensive training activities are estimated to contribute £89m to the UK economy over the next decade and £49m internationally.
  • In 2022 JIC was ranked among the top 10 institutions in the world by patent influence1.

Read the John Innes Centre’s Impact Report 2022