SCIENTISTS from Essex University are playing their part in a ground-breaking multi-million pound research project to address an impending global food crisis.

The University of Essex has helped launch the innovative €8.6 million, or £7.8 million, Capitalise crop research scheme.

The project, which involves other universities in the UK and across the globe, is part of a green revolution aiming to address worldwide food shortages set to come about as the globe's population sky-rockets.

Those involved are using high-tech techniques, new technologies and scientists' research to breed climate smart crops in a bid to address the predicted shortfall in food production.

Professor Christine Raines and Professor Tracy Lawson from the School of Life Sciences at Essex are involved in the project.

Prof Raines said: "The efficiency of photosynthesis in crop plants is well below the theoretical maximum for the process, this implies there is scope for improving this engine of agricultural productivity.

“At Essex we will be applying our expertise to tuning the carbon pathway which produces the materials for plant productivity and physiological phenotyping to identifying novel traits in crop populations to feed into breeding programs.

"We are delighted to be part of this exciting programme with leading experts on photosynthesis.”

Capitalise is funded by Horizon 2020 - the European Commission’s biggest EU Research and Innovation programme.