Who we are

NIAB is at the centre of innovation in crop science in the UK and across the world, with rapidly expanding research capabilities in plant genetics, agronomy, farming systems and data science, the largest national field trials capability, and strong research links with industry, Government and academia. With headquarters in Cambridge, and regional offices across the country, employing more than 400 people across the UK, NIAB provides scientific research, technical services and practical advice to improve the yield, efficiency and resilience of crop production across the arable, forage and horticulture sectors.

NIAB is unique in being an independent science-based research organisation with a very large farmer and industry-based membership who help to ensure that research outcomes are transferred into practice. Privatised in 1996 NIAB is a not-for-profit organisation with independent charitable status. We re-invest all of our income into future research in crop science and production. The acquisition of The Arable Group in 2009, the University of Cambridge Potato Agronomy Unit in 2014, East Malling Research in 2016 and BCPC in 2019 has broadened the range of crop expertise that now resides within the NIAB Group.


A global leader in genetics and plant breeding

NIAB has expertise in plant breeding and plant genetics, focused on a pre-breeding platform capable of delivering new sources of genetic innovation. Our aim is to increase crop production and improve resilience to abiotic and biotic stresses across the major arable crops – cereals, oilseed rape and pulses – as well as soft and top fruit.

Ensuring the quality of UK seed

NIAB’s traditional core business is statutory variety evaluation, seed certification and seed testing, supporting the delivery of Plant Variety Rights and Seeds legislation. This includes providing expert phenotyping skills, testing facilities, analytical services, and seed certification training in agricultural and ornamental crops. Activities include servicing contracts on behalf of APHA, the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and national PVR offices.

Transferring innovation in plant science into practical agriculture

NIAB has the specialist knowledge, skills and facilities required to support improved crop production in the agricultural and horticultural sectors; evaluating variety performance and quality in the field, conducting crop agronomy research and ensuring the benefits of new knowledge and genetic potential are transferred on to farm.

Farmer membership

NIAB has strong links to primary agriculture and horticulture through its sector-specific in-house, and partner, membership programmes - including NIAB Agronomy Membership (arable and forage), the Controlled Traffic Farming Network, and our links with the Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (CUPGRA). Our members are important to the success of the organisation, ensuring that our experimental programme is aligned with current and future challenges on farm. They not only guide the members’ research programme, but ensure researchers are focused on real world-issues in the industry. This ensures that NIAB’s research programme is industry focused, relevant and outcome-driven. Members benefit from early access to information gathered through strategic NIAB research as well as the extensive member-funded programmes which deliver impartial, cost effective agronomy strategies. We help members plan to cope with external pressures such as legislative changes and economic and environmental pressures.


How to find out more

For comprehensive information on the organization and its research and trials activities, use email and website links below.



93 Lawrence Weaver Road


+44(0) 1223 342200