An Initiative to re-galvanise the International Barley Research Community

We believe that there is both a need to re-invigorate the ‘barley community’ from the ground-up by increasing interactions, establishing new (or refreshing old) collaborations or networks, and using ‘leverage’ to offer greater value to global research investments by extending their impact to the international stage. By working better together we believe we could demonstrate to funders and end users that investing in barley research makes sound long term academic and economic sense. We want to encourage the upcoming generation of barley researchers to exploit and extend the vast genetic and genomic resources for barley available today. We are not short of challenges: gene by gene or process by process functional studies remain long term objectives that could be enabled by collaboration/coordination, and co-development and sharing of biological and informational tools and resources will stimulate progress and enrich our community.

We therefore want to explore whether there is the appetite within the barley research community to form a collaborative network of open and interactive research groups and individuals that are committed to advancing barley research – a global community. We propose that, in the short term at least, the recently erected International Barley Hub (IBH) ( could play a dual administrative and structuring role. Our aim is to re-establish a vibrant global public/private barley research community that shares resources, capabilities, data, game-changing ideas and technologies, and to foster new collaborations and emerging networks. We want to enable impactful science that safeguards high quality, sustainable and resilient barley production around the world.

The global pandemic has taught us that we do not need to travel to communicate face to face. To meet the ambition articulated above, we propose to make a start by setting up a global online barley seminar program to be held every four weeks. We will seek contributions from across the globe. The ‘scientific’ program would build upon an already successful monthly IBH seminar series of ‘introductory’ presentations ( designed to appeal to everyone across the barley value and supply chain. Given your support, we propose trialling this for the 2022 calendar year with a stop/go decision to be made at the start of 2023.

With your support, over the coming year we intend to shift the organisation to a younger, geographically, and gender balanced overseeing committee. Admin and practical organisation will continue to be through the IBH platform and advertising seminars will initially be via the IBH web site and to the growing list of those who subscribe (see below) to the initiative, and their contacts. We allow 1.5 hours for seminars (25-40 mins plus Q&A) and items raised for discussion could be included at the end. The seminar series would be the forum to re-establish a global barley research network.

So, we would like to hear whether you:

1. Would support such an initiative?

2. Would be willing to engage with us to see if we can make it a success.

3. Would volunteer to give a ‘science’ or ‘introductory’ seminar, or suggest someone you would like to hear give a talk. A specified aim is to promote early- and mid-career barley researchers.

To keep track of responses we have set up a registration page here for you declare interest. By signing up we will add your name to the list of contributors on the IBH web site.

Robbie Waugh, Peter Langridge, Nils Stein, Matt Tucker, Gary Muehlbauer, Joanne Russell, Vic Carollo Blake, Rachel Burton, Sarah McKim, Wilma Van Esse.