As part of our proactive search for new IPSR global partners and strategic collaboration centers, Prof. Takashi Hirayama (Group of Environmental Response Systems) has just visited United Kingdom’s Rothamsted Research on March 9 and 10th, 2015. Established in 1834, Rothamsted Research is known as the longest running agricultural research station in the world. It is conveniently located at the suburb of London, just 30 min by train from the central London.
Following a warm welcome by the members of Rothamsted Research, Prof. Hirayama exploited the unique opportunity to introduce IPSR, Okayama University and his own research in a short informative seminar. In the following discussions with 15 members of the institute, research projects and possible collaborations have been deliberately discussed. In particular, meetings with Prof. Martin Parry (Head of Plant Biology and Crop Science), Prof. Jonathan Napier (Associate Director and Head of Designing Seeds for Nutrition and Health), and Prof. John Picket (Michael Elliott Distinguished Research Fellow and Scientific Leader of Chemical Ecology) appeared as mutually interesting and constructive.
A final tour of immense test fields introduced by Prof. Picket provided a full scale of activities and scientific excellence of research carried out at Rothamsted. Prof. Hiayama commented after his return to Japan: “I was so impressed if not even shocked by the amazing facilities at Rothamsted Research, such as countless glasshouses, huge incubators and so on”. Indeed, it is our sincere hope that new collaborations will rise from the current contacts between IPSR and Rothamsted Research. It is our common goal to develop novel types of stress resistant plants for the World’s better future.