How the Small Grain Cereals Network became the Monogram Network
The Small Grain Cereals (SGC) network was established by the community to bring together UK cereal and grass researchers. The network had a website and shared information. The community met once a year, usually in April, at one of the UK institutes. Keynote speakers from overseas were invited and our young researchers had the opportunity to present their work. There was also a programme of exchanges for people to learn new and specialist techniques from one another. Following two informal workshops, BBSRC funded these activities since 2005.
In 2006 BBSRC and SEERAD decided to strategically align the cereal and grass genetics and genomics research in its institutes under a single umbrella which became known as Monogram. Most of the people who work within the Monogram framework were also active members of the SGC.
However, there are also some key University departments (Nottingham and Bristol for example) working in cereals and grasses, which were not included directly in the BBSRCs decision to join up and focus its institute efforts. The Monogram institutes have close links with and rely on the expertise represented in universities, and also within other organisations, such as NIAB, and the plant breeding companies. (Plant breeding, by the way, is a small but vital UK industry, heavily research focussed. Vital because itís the only way the products of Monograms core research will reach the public!) Joint research projects are very common.
In April 2008 the SGC Steering group decided that the SGC would be renamed the Monogram Network, and that there would be a single common website providing a single access portal for all UK grass and small grain cereal activities.