UK Biotech and Biological Science Research Council

  • Survey date: 20 Oct 2019

Nutrition for Growth (N4G) commitment

Reported progress


Non-financial commitments
London 2013

1. Work with the Global Food Security (GFS) program, a cross- government research coordination mechanism, to scale up engagement on nutrition-related research.

2. Work with CGIAR’s HarvestPlus to organize a UK and international scientific workshop on next-generation bio fortified crops and bioavailability.

3. Work with research councils and other partners to develop a networked approach to nutrition and health.

Reported progress

1. 3 awards worth £1.8M were made under GFS Food System Resilience programme on how to encourage healthy and sustainable diets. We ran a Policy Lab to look at how we can influence food choices for health and sustainability through changes across the food system - this report is due to be published in autumn 2019. Our Paris-compliant healthy food systems project is now looking at how we can meet global agreements such as Paris and the SDGs through four future scenarios, outlining the implications for policy, business and research. The report will be published in autumn 2019. We are currently taking forward an Insight (practice and policy note) on the gut microbiome and how the food we eat affects the make up of this and influences health outcom

2. Nutritional enhancement of crops featured in the scope of two GCRF calls; Food and nutrition research for health in the developing world: bioavailability and nutrient content (£6.9M) and A combined food systems approach to scaling-up interventions to address the double burden of malnutrition (Combined funding of £8.5M). These programmes aim to enhance the nutrient content and bioavailability of nutrients in a diverse range of culturally appropriate foods and address the challenge of chronic global malnutrition.

3. BBSRC announced a four-year £40 million investment to support research at the Quadram Institute. The new institute encourages interdisciplinary research across food science, gut biology and the microbiome, human health and disease to develop evidence-based strategies to maximise the positive impacts of food on health, from early life to the extension of a healthy lifespan in old age, thereby reducing the economic and societal costs of an ageing population and chronic disease. £7.6 million has been invested to support five, two-year interdisciplinary research projects via the BBSRC GCRF Food and nutrition research for health in the developing world: bioavailability and nutrient content call. The purpose of this call is to bring together the complementary capabilities of UK and developing countries partners from across the agriculture – food – nutrition – health interfaces to inform the development of new strategies to deliver more sustainable nutritious foods to address malnutrition/key nutrient deficiencies and to improve health across the life course in the developing countries. £1.05 million has been invested by BBSRC (£500k) and MRC (£550k) to support UK participation in four transnational, collaborative research projects through the Healthy Diet, Healthy Lives Joint Programming Initiative’s joint action on ‘nutrition and the epigenome’. The call involved 13 funding organisations from 11 countries. The successful projects will provide a better understanding of the diet-epigenome relationships and their effect on human health.

On course
Basis of assessment

Commitment 2 was reached in previous years; significant achievements have been made for the other two commitments (although original commitment language is vague).