About the UK-CGIAR Centre

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The UK-CGIAR Centre aims to support global food security by bringing together scientists from the UK and the CGIAR to form impact-focused research collaborations.

Our food system has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years. Driven by the war in Ukraine, food costs have reached a 50-year high. Climate change is hitting some of the world’s most fragile regions hard, exacerbating the vulnerability of food supplies. At the same time, agriculture is negatively affecting the environment; it is the primary driver of biodiversity loss and accounts for 30% of GHG emissions.  

Objectives

The UK government wants to harness the country’s strengths in science and technology to help tackle the interconnected challenges of global food security and climate change. The UK-CGIAR Centre has been created to help achieve this ambition by improving collaboration between CGIAR, the world’s largest global agricultural innovation network, and cutting-edge UK science. While the relationship between UK science institutes and CGIAR is broad and in some cases deep, there is scope to increase research impact through greater focus.

The UK-CGIAR Centre will forge dynamic new collaborations between CGIAR, UK science institutes and research centres in the Global South as well as galvanizing existing partnerships through collaborations. The Centre comprises four core members, FCDO, CGIAR, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (representing UKRI with extensive experience funding UK agriculture research), and CABI as host of the Secretariat.

The Centre has 3 objectives:

  1. Strengthening ties between UK scientific institutes and CGIAR;
  2. Commissioning research with a focus on achieving impact;
  3. Supporting the One CGIAR transition process.

How the Centre was put together

The Secretariat was tasked with identifying research areas and topics as well as potential partners for the first round of funding. It took a mixed methods approach to meet this challenge. The Secretariat reviewed the CGIAR research initiatives, mapped them with FCDO strategic priorities and conducted a bibliometric analysis to identify UK science areas of excellence. The analysis helped inform the FCDO’s and CGIAR’s selection of research areas and topics, and potential partners.