IBERS generates £365m economic benefit

EVERY £1 of public funding invested in Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) generated £12.18 of benefit for the UK economy in 2012/13.

IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth UniversityIBERS is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC ) and generated a total economic benefit of £365 million Gross Value Added (GVA) for the UK economy and supported almost 2,450 jobs.

This is the conclusion of an independent report analysing the impact of the internationally recognised research and teaching centre at Aberystwyth University by leading independent economic consultancy BIGGAR Economics.

IBERS research activity generates a variety of products developed through research, the commercialisation of which generates wealth and supports employment throughout the UK.

The report highlights how fundamental and applied research has already made an impact and how it will continue to do so, and can be found here.

Highlights include:

  • Commercialisation activity generated more than £14 million GVA for the UK economy and supported almost 250 jobs. IBERS has strong and long-established relationships with a wide variety of industrial partners that enables it to play a fundamental role in supporting the productivity of the UK agri-food sector.
  • Specialist plant varieties developed by IBERS scientists provide 14% of the total nutritional input required by the 32.6 million cows and sheep reared in the UK each year, and generate £6.3 million in seed sales.
  • Varieties of oats developed by IBERS account for 65% of all oats used in the UK each year. It is estimated that IBERS’ contribution to the UK oats market generated more than £19million GVA for the UK economy in 2012/13 and supported more than 800 jobs.
  • Each year graduates from IBERS take what they have learned while studying into the workplace, helping to improve the productivity of UK industry. This productivity benefit can be measured by the additional income earned by graduates because they have a degree. It was estimated that this productivity improvement contributed more than £23 million GVA to the UK economy in 2012/13.

Vice-Chancellor Professor April McMahon said: “This report underlines the excellent work that takes place at IBERS and significant contribution it makes to the economy as a whole and to the agricultural sector more specifically.

“Aberystwyth University is committed to building on the success story reported here by BIGGAR Economics.

The University is investing over £100m in new facilities. A key element of this programme is the development of the new £35m Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus at Gogerddan, where much of the research undertaken by IBERS is based.

Backed by the BBSRC, the new facilities for commercial companies and researchers will play a significant role in developing new products, based on modern approaches to plant breeding, that are essential as we address they key issues of food, water and energy security in an ever changing world.”