CTP – Fruit Crop Research

The CTP for Fruit Crop Research is a flagship research programme for UK horticulture jointly funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)innovative and forward-thinking international businesses and by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board. The CTP Programme for Fruit Crop Research is led by Berry Gardens Growers Ltd on behalf of a focused industry consortium, and in collaboration with its principal academic partners NIAB EMR, this CTP aims to deliver a world-class, end-user inspired programme of research to train the next generation of researchers to support the horticultural industry in the UK. Tapping into expertise and capabilities in renowned UK universities with a strong agricultural and plant science background will foster closer links between these key organisations and enable world-leading, cross-disciplinary science.

At the heart of the CTP Programme for Fruit Crop Research are a set of core values that are the principles and beliefs that will form the foundation of the culture and identity of this cohort of students. The CTP Partnership will ensure that the core strength of the academic and industrial research base is translated into high-quality training for students, delivering independent, highly employable scientists in strategically important research and development areas. Through strong leadership and governance, a bespoke and tailored approach to the individuals training, and interaction with the UKs leading fruit agribusinesses, the students will experience a truly industry-led research training programme that will provide them with valuable life skills for future careers in horticulture.

Through consultation and planning, we have designed a training and impact programme that will provide our students with a high quality experience tailored to their individual research needs. Using NIAB EMR as a primary base for research, cohort building and impact activity, our students will take advantage of the excellent established training opportunities afforded by the Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham and Reading. The involvement of the AHDB and integration into its wider studentship programme ensures maximum opportunities for students to learn from their peers in aligned research areas. The AHDB will also have an important role in communicating and disseminating the results of the research undertaken and its potential implications and benefits to the wider grower community in the UK through its existing well-structured communication programmes.

The consortium has expertise in genetics and genomics, pathology and entomology, soil science, crop physiology and nutrition, fruit agronomy and husbandry, food quality science, environmental monitoring, sensor and imaging platforms and a strong track record of delivering, exploiting and disseminating results of publicly-funded R&D. The industry and academic consortium members are leaders in their respective businesses and disciplines,with much experience of supervising and delivering high quality R&D studentships. Our industry partners recognise the value of research to their businesses and are committed to funding underpinning strategic and applied research for the soft, stone and pome fruit industries.