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International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP)

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IWYP website

The International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) is a long-term collaborative global endeavour to bring together funding from public and private research organizations from a large number of countries. Established in 2012, with a growing list of partners, IWYP supports research in wheat, the most widely grown crop globally. This unique public-private agencies’ collaboration aligns with BBSRC’s strategic priority in agriculture and global food security.


The goal of the International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) is to increase the genetic wheat potential by 50% by 2035. To do so, IWYP has brought together public and private research organisations around the world, aiming to invest up to US$100 million in research. By fostering these alliances, IWYP provides a new approach to funding and conducting internationally competitive research projects. At their completion, these innovative, high risk projects will substantially boost global wheat productivity and contribute to meeting rising global demand.


IWYP targets six key research areas:

  1. Uncovering genetic variation that creates the differences in carbon fixation and partitioning between wheat lines
  2. Harnessing genes from wheat and other species through genetic modification to boost carbon capture and fixation to increase biomass production
  3. Optimizing wheat development and growth to improve grain yields and harvest index
  4. Developing elite wheat lines for use in other breeding programs
  5. Building on discoveries in wheat relatives and other species
  6. Fostering breakthrough technology development that can transform wheat breeding.

Research projects

IWYP has so far run two competitive research calls, funding a total of 14 research projects (International Wheat Yield Partnership: Funded projects).

The IWYP 1st call resulted in eight research projects being funded, five of which were led by UK-based research organizations. These projects focused on increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis and unlocking the genetic code behind wheat yield.

Following the IWYP 2nd call, six research projects have been funded. The scope of this second call focused at increasing carbon capture and flow into grains, as well as modifying current breeding methods to produce fast-growing and environment-adaptable wheat hybrids.

Through IWYP’s 2nd call, BBSRC has supported the UK components of five collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects worth £4.9M ($6.4M):

  • Speeding the adjustment of photosynthesis to shade-sun transitions to increase yield potential in the field. Lead PI: Elizabete Carmo-Silva, University of Lancaster - $1,082,492
  • Isolation of genetic variation for flowering morphology for hybrid wheat production. Lead PI: Julie King, University of Nottingham – $999,970
  • Manipulating stomatal blue light response in wheat to improve productivity. Lead PI: Tracy Lawson, University of Essex - $1,078,874
  • Rooty: A root ideotype toolbox to support improved wheat yields. Lead PI: Eric Ober, NIAB - $1,972,824
  • Transforming yield through source-sink synchronisation. Lead PI: Mathew Paul, Rothamsted Research - $1,272,787

IWYP has also collaborated with USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to run a separate NIFA-IWYP Competitive Research Call (PDF) , funding seven NIFA-IWYP research projects. The projects involve various research institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Mexico.

To reinforce its portfolio, IWYP integrates the outputs of eight IWYP aligned projects. These are scientifically excellent research projects funded outside IWYP but within the programme’s research scope. This flexible research model ensures the exchange of information and knowledge, and the progress of common research goals.


BBSRC is one of 13 funding and research organisations that support IWYP across seven countries along with: GRDC in Australia, USAID, USDA ARS and USDA NIFA, in USA, DBT in India, AAFC in Canada, INRA in France and SAGARPA in Mexico, Syngenta Foundation (SFSA), the CGIARs, CIMMYT and the Wheat Initiative. Private partners are some of the leading wheat breeding companies in the world, including: Syngenta, Bayer, Pioneer, KWS, Limagrain, Mahyco, RAGT, LongReach and SeedCo. Click on the partner logos below to access more information.

Funding and research organisations partners

Private partners