A government minister insists funding will continue for a Norwich research base predicted to have a huge role in helping the world feed itself.

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Norwich Research Park (NRP), which houses a cluster of 30 companies, received a £90m grant from the government earlier this year to be split among the Genome Analysis Centre, the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre.

And David Willetts, universities and science minister, has given assurances in parliament that cash will continue to be provided to NRP.

Business and farming leaders have welcomed Mr Willetts’ words and say the work being carried out in Colney Lane, Norwich, will play an increasingly important role in the future.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, when raising NRP in parliament, said: “The rising world population means that by 2050 we will need to double world production, albeit with half as much water, land and energy.

“Does the minister agree that British agricultural science, not least at the Norwich Research Park, has a potentially huge role to play in helping the world to feed itself?

“May I welcome the agricultural science strategy and ask that it looks to draw in as much investment from around the world into Britain’s science base as possible?”

Mr Willetts replied: “This is an area where British science has a lead. We have already invested more in the Norwich science park, which I visited with my honourable friend, and we will continue to do so as part of our industrial strategy.”

Clarke Willis, chief executive of Anglian Farmers Limited, said politicians were starting to realise the potential of NRP.

Mr Willis added he believes most farmers back the work at NRP.

He said: “I think very often when something is on your doorstep, you don’t appreciate it. What we have got at Norwich Research Park is basically a cluster of world-leading scientists who are developing products and techniques that will revolutionise agriculture.”

Caroline Williams, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “It’s good to see continued investment in NRP as it has significant potential to not only bring in jobs in the research park but the whole supply chain that it supports.”

richard.wheeler@archant.co.uk

5 comments

  • Thank you nrg.

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    norman hall

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Don't often agree with ingo, but he's spot on with this one...The world population will indeed rise, followed by a predicted fall in numbers as well, where these nutty scientist pull the less water blurb from, lord knows...perhaps we can flog some of our excess water to those in need.

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    nrg

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Another minister following the party line and using "got to feed the world " for an excuse to genetically change our food. And less water? On one hand we are fed the " climate change " blurb which is supposed to inundate the land with rapidly rising seas. The real truth is that billions of pounds of profit are being made by the incessant Greenie industries, wind farms for one, and the GM produce is purely to enable to giant supermarkets to make even more profit. The Guru of Global Warming as it was back then ,Al Gore, has not been heard or seen for years. Not since the greatest money making industry became reality . Or as a cynic might say the biggest scam the world has ever seen.

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    norman hall

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Just as unpopular politicians still are forced on us, daily, this GMO industry, producing unpopular products, used to corner markets and put farmers into dependency relationships with seed manufacturers, are supported for speculative ventures and goods nobody wants. What of the 90% of firms in the business park that do not get any support from the minority coalition, can they rely on taxes to be kept alive?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Gosh I'm agreeing again with another bod..Norman bites the warmist Frankenstein camp legs!!!! The food thingy is nonsense, if the world was gagging for grub...why fill perfectly good crop land with solar panels in gloomily cloud covered Blighty????

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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