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New website explores food security challenge

11 December 2009

A new website – – was launched last night (10 December) to explore the issues around the looming challenge of feeding a global population predicted to reach 9Bn by 2050, and the world-class UK research already underway to help avert a potential crisis.

The website, from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the UK’s largest funder of agri-food research, is a multimedia resource with numerous social media features and provides an introduction to the food security issue. It includes background information on the food security agenda and facts and figures together with details about the impact of past research, current research activity and the scientific challenges ahead.

At the centre of the website is a new multi-author blog – the first on the web dedicated to food security and related research in the UK. It will feature posts from authors across the food security field, including researchers, farmers, industry leaders and consumers.

Featuring an easy-to-use, no registration required comments section the blog will be an online destination for comment and provocative debate about different views on food security and different approaches to feeding the growing world population.

Prof Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: “Feeding 9Bn mouths in the coming decades is going to require significant scientific progress, and changes that will affect all of us. will give anyone interested or new to the issue an introduction to the challenge we face and details of the research being done here in the UK to meet it. The website outlines the impact that UK science has already had in delivering more safe, nutritious and affordable food – but highlights the significant policy and science hurdles we need to overcome as we look to double food production to meet demand in the coming decades.

“We can all recognise the importance of securing our food supplies but people disagree over the ways to do this and the approaches to take. The new blog on will be a place for those interested in this topic to provoke, engage, debate and discuss. If people have something important to say about food security we want to hear from them.”

Meeting the food security challenge – delivering safe, affordable and nutritious food for a growing global population – will require a multidisciplinary research approach. has been designed to grow to reflect the number of disciplines beyond BBSRC science that will need to work together.

Prof Kell said: “BBSRC is working with many UK and international partners to deliver food security. This is just the start. The Web is an exceptionally important means of disseminating ideas and knowledge, and we are inviting all our partners to join the website’s development and to contribute their views and research examples.”


Notes to editors is a new website from and by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.