Our impact

We have a proven track-record over a 110-year history of economic and societal impact.

Our successes reach every UK household, for example the iconic John Innes compost was our contribution to the British garden. Traditional British pub lunches would not be the same without our Maris Piper potatoes (for chips) and Maris Otter barley (for beer).

We continue to create some of the most innovative products on the market (such as Beneforté Broccoli) and to generate multi-million pound spin-out companies, including Leaf Expression Systems developing plant-based human vaccines.

We also have a substantial impact globally, for example we discovered the wheat dwarfing gene which sits behind the “green revolution” and provided the underpinning science for the production of many modern antibiotics.

In 2018, we commissioned an independent analysis of our impact by Brookdale Consulting. This analysis updates a similar exercise undertaken in 2013.

The analysis shows that the John Innes Centre returns £14 to the UK economy for every £1 invested.


  • We support 840 jobs in the UK
  • Our ‘Designing Future Wheat‘ programme, designed to improve wheat yields globally, is predicted to deliver £100m of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy over the next 25 years and £4.3bn to the rest of the world
  • One of our spin-out companies, Procarta Biosystems, is developing a new generation of antibiotics specifically designed to target antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is estimated that this breakthrough will deliver health care cost savings equivalent to £129m GVA in the UK and £4bn in the rest of the world
  • Our programme to produce high performance brassicas such as oilseed rape is predicted to deliver £407m GVA to the UK economy over the next 25 years and £1.3bn to the rest of the world

We are at the cutting edge of global research and development in a number of key areas, the Brookdale impact report 2018 highlights areas where we could have significant impact in the future, including the speed-breeding of crops, developing insect resistance of crops and biofilm disruption as a means of bacterial control.