Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC)


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
01 April 2014 - 31 March 2019
AHDB sector cost:
Project leader:

About this project

The challenge

A rising global population combined with global climate change, the potential spread of newly emerging diseases of livestock and crops, and the volatility of oil prices threaten global food security. The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC) is a joint BBSRC and NERC initiative to support innovative projects that will provide solutions to key challenges affecting the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the UK crop and livestock sectors.

The project

The agricultural industry has a significant impact upon the UK’s economy and environment. The industry has around 150,000 businesses in the UK, which is 6% of the total, and employs 660,000 people. The sector contributes £9.9 billion to UK GDP through production of both livestock and crops. In 2014 the Utilised Agricultural Area was 17.2M hectares, which is 71% of land in the UK. SARIC was created as a public-private partnership that will enhance the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of our agricultural systems. The club will enable the UK research base to contribute to the substantial innovation opportunities connected with the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Over five years SARIC will invest in activities in the research base that translate existing knowledge and generate new insights to benefit the UK. The activities will bring together multidisciplinary teams in novel collaborations with expertise from the biological, environmental, economic and social sciences.

The benefits

BBSRC, NERC and ESRC have a strong record in managing collaborative research programmes, including the Research Innovation Club mechanism. Companies report a range of significant benefits from their engagement with the Research Councils:
• Capacity to influence research in important strategic areas
• Knowledge on the progress of relevant research projects and early access to results
• Opportunity to work with leading researchers and to build strong relationships with them
• Opportunity to identify the best potential industry recruits
• Guidance on other Research Council activities and funding opportunities
• Promotion of companies through relevant activities, objectives and outputs

Read the SARIC Impact Summary for 2019

*AHDB funding finished in 2019. However, it is anticipated that research activity will continue until 2021.