A UKRI Infrastructure Scoping Project
Integrating state-of-the-art national facilities in plant and crop phenotyping and connecting the UK phenomics community

Community Co-design

The PhenomUK Infrastructure Scoping project will produce a business plan and proposal for an effective and sustainable nationwide plant and crop phenotyping infrastructure, for submission to UKRI.

Plant phenotyping requires a rich mix of both human expertise and technology. Sensors must be selected or created and positioned around the plant(s) by bioscientists and engineers. Data storage must be designed and maintained by computer scientists and IT professionals who must also, in collaboration with scientific and/or industrial users, identify techniques turning raw sensor data into domain-specific measurements (phenes). Further statistical analysis and data integration is required to generate the biological knowledge that is the true goal. All research infrastructure rely on contributions from colleagues in a range of roles and at different career stages. Research Technical Professionals are critical, and many early adopters are likely to be Early Career Researchers.The PhenomUK scoping activity will consider and strive to meet the needs of all sections of the diverse, multidisciplinary UK phenomics community.
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 https://www.infraportal.org.uk/factsheets

Project Structure

PhenomUK will achieve its aims through three Component Strands focussing on physical facilities, digital infrastructure, and networking and engagement respectively.

The strands will follow a common pattern of activity. Each will begin with a period of community consultation, including workshops, surveys and individual discussions as appropriate. These will identify a set of pilot activities – e.g. funded access to existing physical facilities and data exemplars examining digital infrastructure issues – which again will be presented to and assessed by the community at large. This process began in September 2022 with the BBSRC/PhenomUK community workshop, at which 18 UK institutions were represented.The component strands will be brought together by a cross-cutting Directorate overseeing the project, addressing issues in policy and governance, and communicating with national stakeholders and EMPHASIS. Outcomes and recommendations arising will be summarised in a series of short Action Plans which will be available for download and comment here, and later combined to form the final business plan.