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We will capitalize on our unique and multidisciplinary expertise to explore fundamental underpinning science and also translational research on high value products and processes focusing on the use of maize as a production platform. The project requires inputs from teams with expertise in molecular biology, plant sciences, crop physiology, agronomy, crop protection and biosafety, food processing and safety, medical and veterinary sciences, amongst others. Our key outputs will be fundamental knowledge disseminated through publications in high impact scientific journals following IP protection as appropriate. Furthermore we will explore opportunities with the private sector to allow the development of a framework for the transition from the laboratory to the consumer, user and the market place and vice versa. This project, together with the other two flagship projects will be used as a conduit to establish the multidisciplinary and multidimensional scientific basis of Agrotecnio, gain name recognition internationally and locally, and establish the Unit as a world focus of excellence addressing multiple key elements in the food production chain focusing on sustainability, durability and wealth creation.

Potential outputs and benefits:

a) generate knowledge, develop technology and protect intellectual property which can be leveraged in different ways.

b) create value added maize to broaden the utility of the crop.

c) stimulate the formation of new high value industry ventures.

d) reduce the environmental footprint and increase the sustainability of maize for value added products.

e) demonstrate in a tangible manner the ability of The Unit to address effectively multiple interventions in the food production chain which may evolve as the gold standard for the sector.