Chapter 26. Translational Research Networks
Without higher yielding and more climate resilient crop varieties, better agronomy and sustainable inputs, the world is on a course for catastrophes in food and nutritional security with all the associated social and political implications. Achieving food and nutritional security is one of the most important Grand Challenges of this century. These circumstances demand new systems for improving wheat to sustain current needs and future demands. This chapter presents some of the networks that have been developed over the years to help address these challenges. Networks help to: identify the most urgent problems based on consensus; identify and bridge knowledge silos; increase research efficacy and efficiency by studying state of the art germplasm and sharing common research environments/platforms so multiple strands of research can be cross-referenced; and creating communities of practice where the modus operandi becomes cooperation towards common goals rather than competition. Networks can also provide identity and visibility to research programs and their stakeholders, thereby lending credibility, increasing investment opportunities and accelerating outputs and dissemination of valuable new technologies.