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Leading wheat breeder sets up cutting edge consultancy


Wheat breeder Bill Angus has formed a consultancy to develop new varieties by publicly funded research through ‘public-private’ partnerships, and also to work with clients to increase wheat yields on-farm while maintaining quality and optimising inputs.

“I believe that we are on the cusp of a new era in wheat breeding and we must enhance the relationships between the public and private sectors,” he explains. “We have world-leading science and we need to get this to the market place. My new venture will be at the cutting edge of making this happen.”

Bill Angus led the highly-successful Nickerson/Limagrain wheat breeding programme for over 20 years. This brought UK farmers varieties such as Claire, Einstein, Alchemy and Invicta – securing a market leading position for the company. He resigned from his role as Wheat Research and Development Manager for Groupe Limagrain in June this year to return to ‘front line’ wheat breeding as he was becoming too remote from the ‘real world’ of breeding and growing wheat, and missed the day to day interaction with farmers, processors and commercial partners.

“It is my belief that research needs to be translated into output through the development of new varieties – and the breeding community must have influence on publicly funded research through ‘public-private’ partnerships This is pivotal to meeting the needs of Governments in their aspirations for enhanced food security.

“My new consultancy already has necessarily-confidential start up clients outside the UK and we will shortly be able to announce the next agreement, which will be for a major UK company.

“The UK already has a world-leading average wheat yield of well over 8t/ha and there is a recent UK-funded project to drive UK wheat yields towards 20t/ha over the next 20 years. It is one of my ambitions to help to achieve this,” adds Mr Angus.


Bill Angus joined the Plant Breeding Institute (PBI), Cambridge, Wheat Breeding Programme in 1973 after graduating in Genetics from the University of Liverpool. In 1984 he joined the Nickerson Seed Company and was promoted to Head of Wheat Breeding and then International wheat R & D manager for Groupe Limagrain and Senior wheat breeder for Limagrain UK. During this period leading varieties such as Claire, Einstein, Alchemy and Invicta were brought to the UK market. More recently Crusoe a nabim Group 1 breadmaking variety – was added to the UK Recommended Lists. Bill Angus co-edits the authoritative World Wheat Books. He served on the BCPB Strategy Board from 2004 2007, was awarded a BCPC medal in 2011 and the RASE Technology Award in 2007. He was appointed to the BBSRC Strategy Advisory Board in Feb 2010.

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