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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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Using advanced engineering in such operations can have positive impacts on: 

  • agricultural productivity
  • management of the environment (by minimising agricultural inputs such as pesticides and herbicides)
  • protection of natural resources such as soils and water.

Since its launch, this initiative has received widespread support from industry, and considerable interest from the research councils and Innovate UK. Other universities conducting basic research in this area, but without the necessary resources to support it, have also expressed an interest. 

The new facility could have national and international impact, and will provide a major boost to the UK's contribution to global food security.

Project information

Catalyst funding £1,465,000
Total project funding £2,930,000
Project contact Professor Simon Blackmore  

Page last updated 13 October 2016

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