UK biosecurity is set to see a boost with new funding from Defra and UK Research & Innovation.
From today, businesses can apply for a share of a new funding pot of up to £800,000 to support the development of new solutions and technologies to improve UK biosecurity and tackle the threat of regulated plant pests and diseases.
Such as enhancing plant health inspections, both at the border and in-land, pest and disease surveillance and management of infected commodities, helping to safeguard food security and mitigate the effects of climate change.
“Healthy, robust, resilient plants are paramount to the health of our environment, food supply, economy and society,” says Professor Guy Poppy, interim executive chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
“It is therefore mission critical that the UK invests the resource required to effectively predict, prevent, detect and manage threats to plant health.”
Activities eligible for funding include, developing innovative technologies and practices to enhance border inspections of traded plants for planting and plant commodities, including wood and wood products.
Enhancing in-land inspections of plants in nurseries, recently planted sites or the wider environment.
Utilising passive and scanning surveillance approaches to provide efficient and cost-effective methods for detecting pests and diseases in different landscape settings.
Managing the supply of potentially infected or infested plants and plant commodities pre and post border by presenting alternative treatments to destruction of the plants following detection of a quarantine organism, reducing financial losses whilst maintaining biosecurity.
This new funding comes after the launch of the Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain earlier this year, which set out a five-year vision for plant health.