The increasing world population, predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, will make huge demands on the agricultural biotechnology industry with respect to the development of agrichemicals that are able to drive and sustain increases in the production of food and fibre from plants, whilst mitigating competition for water and land use. The Foresight report on Global Food and Farming Futures (2011), the most comprehensive food security study to date, involved more than 400 leading experts from 35 different countries who concluded that the current global food system is failing. This landmark document highlighted that targeted investment in agricultural research and innovation was crucial in order to increase the yield and climate resilience of food crop production.
At the heart of the proposed strategy is the need to train a new generation of multidisciplinary researchers who are able to work at the interface of the Plant and Physical Sciences - a cohort who will underpin the development of novel tools and technologies that are able to provide molecular insight into the mode of action of agrichemicals.
The NexGenAgriChem IDP framework directly addresses this training challenge, and will transform the landscape of rational agrichemical design by providing scientists with a toolkit to predict and probe the transport and distribution profiles of potential lead candidates (Delivery), as well as their mode of action (Destiny) within plants and pests at the molecular level.
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