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What is Biosciences, Environment and Agriculture Alliance (BEAA)?


What is BEAA?

The Biosciences, Environment and Agriculture Alliance is a strategic partnership between Aberystwyth and Bangor universities (Wales, UK), and the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC). It is the largest multi-disciplinary bio-environmental grouping in the UK .The merging of the former BBSRC Institute for Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) with Aberystwyth University Biological Sciences and Rural Sciences Departments to form the Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) , in strategic partnership with Bangor University College of Natural Sciences (CNS), creates an internationally competitive strategic research and development capacity in Wales to address 21st century environmental challenges. Funding for BEAA was provided by Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities, BBSRC, and HEFCW, for a total budget of £55m.

The Alliance builds on the foundations of the universities existing Research and Enterprise Partnership and its network of excellence centres  CIRRE (Centre for Integrated Research in the Rural Environment) and CCCR (Centre for Catchment and Coastal Research) and the recently funded pan-wales C3W (Climate Change Consortium for Wales) initiative with Swansea and Cardiff. 

BEAA vision

  • Establish in Wales a world leading, science led, research, training, education and enterprise cluster for 21st century Grand Challenges: living with climate change, renewable energy , global food security and threats to security such as animal and plant diseases.
  • Harness unique scientific expertise with intellectual critical mass and state of the art facilities to provide holistic solutions to the grand challenges of the 21st century.
  • Position Aberystwyth and Bangor through the Alliance, as the R&D hub that underpins the next phase of growth in the Agriculture, Food, Bio-renewable and Land based industries.
  • Empower scientists to drive forward step-changes in the economic and social impact of research.

21st Century Grand Challenges

Globally and locally our society faces unprecedented challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss, water and energy shortages, pollution, waste, sustainable land use, and secure food production, all of which impinge on animal and human health and well being. Recent developments in life and environmental sciences enable us to rise to these challenges which in turn create economic opportunities. The Alliance will create and sustain the knowledge base to meet the global environmental challenges and the pace, unpredictability and scale of those challenges in the areas of earth, environment and land use such as climate change, food production and security, sustainable land use, human and animal health and welfare, biodiversity loss, pollution and waste, increasing risk of both flood and drought and the need to switch from hydrocarbon energy sources.  The Alliance will be capable of providing innovative solutions to the challenges of environmental change, generating new knowledge-based products to drive economic growth, whilst also providing a robust scientific evidence base and framework to drive environmental and land use policies both in Wales and worldwide.

The BEAA objective is to deliver research excellence in four key areas to have real impact:

  • Biosciences and genomics - for biotechnologies, biomedical applications, plant and animal breeding.

  • Biorenewables – providing new viable bio-products and biofuels.

  • Animal Science – delivering improved quality and reduced greenhouse emissions.

  • Earth and Ecosystem Science – informing how we can mitigate against and adapt to climate change.

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