ABOUT US

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Wheat Initiative at a Glance

Created in 2011 following endorsement from the G20 Agriculture Ministries, the Wheat Initiative provides a framework to establish strategic research and organisation priorities for wheat research at the international level in both developed and developing countries. The Wheat Initiative fosters communication between the research community, funders and global policy makers, and aims at securing efficient and long-term investments to meet wheat research and development goals. It also initiates and supports activities in order to enhance communication and increase access of all to information, resources and technologies.

The Wheat Initiative actions will lead to the creation of improved wheat varieties and to the dissemination of better agronomic practices worldwide. The combination of new varieties and agronomic practices will in turn allow farmers to improve and stabilise wheat yields in diverse production environments.

The Wheat Initiative was:

  • Proposed by research and funding organisations from several countries

  • Endorsed by the G20 Agricultural Ministers to contribute to improving world food security

  • Launched on the 15 September 2011

History

The Wheat Initiative moved its offices to the Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), the German Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants in Berlin-Dahlem, Germany. The relocation to Berlin was welcomed with strong support from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). With the relocation to Berlin, the management structure was changed as Alisa-Naomi Sieber was appointed to the new role of overall Programme Manager. Peter Langridge was appointed as the interim Scientific Coordinator, in addition to his role as the Chair of the Scientific Board (SB).

The founding of Wheat Initiative was proposed by research and funding organisations from several countries. We were created on 15 September 2011 following an endorsement from the G20 agriculture ministers in order to contribute to global food security improvement. We provide a framework to establish strategic research and organisation priorities for wheat research at the international level in more developed and lesser developed regions. We work diligently to foster communication between the research community, funders, and global policy makers.

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The Wheat Initiative Secretariat

in Berlin-Dahlem, Germany

Our team also aims to secure efficient and long-term investments to meet wheat research and development goals. We initiate and support activities that enhance communication and increase international access to information, resources, and technologies pertaining to wheat. It is with great hope that our actions will lead to the creation of improved wheat varieties and to the dissemination of better agronomic practices worldwide. The combination of new varieties and agronomic practices will allow farmers to improve and stabilise wheat yields in diverse production environments.

In the name of our members, I would like to thank the BMEL, our project promoters, and our cooperation partners in science and industry for their continuous help. With confidence, I look to the coming year. I am also pleased to announce that the coordinator of the Heat and Drought Wheat Improvement Consortium (HeDWIC) will be based at our Wheat Initiative Secretariat at Berlin-Dahlem.
— Frank Ordon, Chair of the RC

Vision and Mission

The Wheat Initiative aims to encourage and support the development of a vibrant global public-private research community sharing resources, capabilities, data and ideas to improve wheat productivity, quality and sustainable production around the world.

To answer the challenges of wheat research internationally, the Wheat Initiative:

  • Develops a global strategic agenda for wheat research through the identification of priorities and challenges beyond the capacity of single research groups and countries, which can best be addressed by international coordination and collaboration between researchers, research institutions and funding arrangements

  • Encourages efficient investment in wheat research based on the capabilities of, and synergies among, national and international programmes

  • Initiates the development of new collaborative programmes and coordinated actions across developing and developed countries

  • Develops and coordinates knowledge sharing amongst the international wheat community


  • Improves access of all to resources, services and facilities

  • Supports education of students and life-long learning of wheat researchers and farmers

  • Stimulates public-private collaborations

Principles and Organization

The Wheat Initiative governance is driven by principles of transparency and inclusivity. It values its members’ engagement and it promotes the sharing of knowledge, information and resources to increase synergy through collaboration.

The global governance of the Wheat Initiative is set out in its Charter. It is organised around 3 major committees, the Research Committee, the Institutions’ Coordination Committee and the Scientific Board.

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Thematic Expert Working Groups (EWGs) contribute to the identification of research priorities and to the emergence of coordinated research programmes. EWGs are established where there would be benefit from bringing together experts with a focus on a topic of relevance to the Wheat Initiative’s aims and objectives, and they are open to non-Wheat Initiative members.

Associated Programmes are already established international collaborations and partnerships that develop research activities in line with the priorities identified by the Wheat Initiative.

Secretariat

The Wheat Initiative is comprised of a small, but dedicated international team. Dr. Alisa-Naomi Sieber has been the Programme Manager of the Wheat Initiative since 2017.

Former Communications Manager, Xuan Hinzmann is currently on maternity leave and Whitney Buchanan is currently filling her shoes until 2020. Whitney worked as a Communications Manager and Editor in a leading environmental arbitration law firm in Turkey. She obtained her masters degree from the American University in Cairo and she is passionate about achieving gender equality for sustainable development. Whitney’s first project is the finalization of the Wheat Initiative 2018 Annual Report, which will be published in May 2019.

The Wheat Initiative is also pleased to introduce Dilara Aksoy. Dilara worked as an Office Assistant for the Green Party in Austria and received her magista degree from the Free University in Berlin. She started her position in March and she is passionate about languages and translating. Dilara is responsible for all of the Wheat Initiative's administrative work and supports the team with workshop registrations, travel reimbursements, and other related tasks.