Open call to galvanize the global barley research community

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22 February 2022, UK: A renowned group of barley scientists, including researchers from the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee, has issued an open call to ‘galvanize’ the international barley research community from the ground up by increasing interactions, establishing new collaborations and offering greater value to global research investments.

Professor Robbie Waugh, Director of the International Barley Hub, said that by working better together, the global barley research community can demonstrate to funders and end-users that investing in barley research makes sound long term academic and economic sense.

“We want to encourage the upcoming generation of barley researchers to exploit and extend the vast genetic and genomic resources for barley available today. We are not short of challenges: gene by gene or process by process functional studies remain long term objectives that could be enabled by collaboration/coordination, and co-development and sharing of biological and informational tools and resources will stimulate progress and enrich our community,” Prof Waugh said.

The group of researchers, which includes Peter Langridge, Nils Stein, Matt Tucker, Gary Muehlbauer, Joanne Russell, Vic Carollo Blake, Rachel Burton, Sarah McKim and Wilma Van Esse, wants to explore whether there is appetite within the barley research community to form a collaborative network of open and interactive research groups and individuals that are committed to advancing barley research.

The group suggests that the Invergowrie-based International Barley Hub (IBH) could play a dual administrative and structuring role, with the ultimate aim of re-establishing a vibrant global public/private barley research community that shares resources, capabilities, data, game-changing ideas and technologies, and to foster new collaborations and emerging networks. 

“We want to enable impactful science that safeguards high quality, sustainable and resilient barley production around the world,” Prof Waugh added.

As a start, the researchers propose to set up a global online barley seminar program to be held every four weeks, featuring contributions from across the globe, building on the already successful IBH seminar series designed to appeal to everyone across the barley value and supply chain. 

The group is keen on hearing views from across the global barley research community, and to that end have set up a registration page for anyone who would like to declare their interest and add their names to the list of contributors on the IBH website.

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