skip to primary navigationskip to content

CambPlants Hub

A networking organisation for plants-related research and impact

Studying at Cambridge


Cambridgeshire Young Innovator's Forum visited KWS

last modified Aug 30, 2016 03:51 PM
A small group of Cambridge scientists from Plant Sciences & SLCU visited KWS-UK seed breeders at Thriplow

A small group of Cambridge scientists from Plant Sciences & SLCU visited KWS-UK seed breeders at Thriplow on the 13th July and talked to Jacob Lage, a pre-breeder at KWS about the challenges and innovations in crop breeding and pre-breeding research underway. 

“It’s amazing how much planning ahead breeders have to do trying to understand what will be needed in few years time and the numerous strategies they find to always improve their seeds, by using new technologies or new ways of breeding (hybrids)”

On the evening of the 13th July at KWS-UK was the second gathering of the Cambridge branch of the Young Innovator’s Forum. A small group of Cambridge Plant scientists (15) visited KWS-UK seed breeders at Thriplow and talked to Jacob Lage, a pre-breeder at KWS about the challenges and innovations in crop breeding and pre-breeding research underway. Innovations on crop breeding were discussed among the enthusiastic plant scientists with highlights such as hybrid seeds research, spring wheat and rye as an alternative crop with high tolerance to draught and heat.

“It has to be a win-win-win to breeders, seed producers and farmers”

“UK should eat more rye, as it grows very well in this climate. However, for cultural and traditional reasons, people are skeptical about rye.”

Researchers wanted to know about the main differences between working in industry and academia, and the challenges farmers face in such a highly competitive food supply chain: “It’s important that breeders talk to retailers to make them understand the value of a seed”. The young farmers were keen to have the group coming to the farm and tell them about what they do on the lab so they can move forward.


The idea of the Young Innovators’ Forum is to build cohorts of early stage career producers and innovators who feel comfortable in each other’s worlds. A storify of tweets here.

This evening was another step on the journey of growing relationships between scientist-industry-farmer relationships, the practical applications, and how to work with and inform the research taking place. CambPlants is already planning with Agri-Tech East the next visit – we can’t wait!

The event was organised by the CambPlants Hub and Agri-Tech East and sponsored by the Morley Agricultural Foundation



Upcoming events

AI For Wheat Workshop

Mar 09, 2020

Alan Turing Institute, British Library, 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB

Discovery and the Dead Plants Society

Mar 09, 2020

Sainsbury Laboratory Auditorium, 47 Bateman Street, Cambridge CB2 1LR

Young Innovators' Forum Conference: Innovation to balance conservation and farming

Mar 12, 2020

The Morley Agricultural Foundation, Deopham Road, Morley St Botolph, Wymondham, NR18 9DF

Controlled Environment Agriculture – The Industry is Growing Up

Mar 18, 2020

John Innes Centre, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7UH

Young Innovators' Forum Visit: Essex Plant Innovation Centre

Mar 31, 2020

STEM Building, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, C04 3SQ

Upcoming events