PhenomUK Research Infrastructure
Integrating state-of-the-art national facilities in plant and crop phenotyping and connecting the UK phenomics community

Designing a Nationwide Phenotyping Infrastructure

PhenomUK Research Infrastructure is a £2.4M Scoping Activity supported by the UKRI Infrastructure Fund. Launched in February 2023, this two-year project aims to define and pilot a nationwide distributed research infrastructure, with regional sites, which will enable new ways of working and a cultural shift in the UK’s approach to plant phenomics.

Research and innovation infrastructures are needed to underpin the UK’s position as a research superpower, ensure the UK remains a partner of choice for collaboration and to conduct high-quality research and innovation necessary to tackle global challenges.

Infraportal have developed a series of informative factsheets designed to be accessible to a range of audiences, in particular policy makers. This series aims to raise awareness of the UK’s work on large-scale infrastructure and highlight the breath of infrastructure capabilities across the UK and their role in supporting key strategic areas.

For more information visit

While crop breeding efforts have greatly benefited from advances in genomics, profiling the plant phenome – mapping their structure and function – has the potential to transform our ability to ensure food security for a growing population facing climate change. Phenotyping methods have advanced significantly, but typically been developed piecemeal, within unrelated projects. The UK plant phenomics landscape is therefore fragmented, with specialist methods operated independently at geographically distinct locations. Data standards and representations vary, as does training and support for developers, facility managers and operators, and scientific users.

PhenomUK will transition from a Technology Touching Life network into a national research infrastructure, taking on the work of the previously termed “UKPCPI” Infrastructure scoping activity to ensure continuity in community identity. The PhenomUK Research Infrastructure will bring together and enhance the UK’s powerful but dispersed resources. This initiative mirrors and is closely related to international activities. Specifically, it seeks to produce a UK node of EMPHASIS, an EU ESFRI project aiming to create a pan-European plant and crop phenotyping infrastructure.

The Delivery Team

Prof Tony Pridmore
Ms Claire Hayes
Project Manager
Prof Stephen Rolfe
Strand 1: Access to Facilities
Prof Tracy Lawson
Strand 1: Access to Facilities
Dr Valerio Giuffrida
Strand 2: Digital Infrastructure
Prof Sotirios Tsaftaris
Strand 2: Digital Infrastructure
Prof Bruce Grieve
Strand 3: Networking and Engagement
Dr Darren Wells
Strand 3: Networking and Engagement
Prof Malcolm Hawkesford
Chair, Project Advisory Board

Participating Institutions