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BBSRC look to the future following Review of Bioenergy

26 May 2006

A review of Bioenergy Research published today by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has concluded that basic bioscience will be vital in the development of future options for bioenergy within a framework of environmental and economic sustainability. It has also found that BBSRC is well positioned to make a unique contribution.

The review, carried out by an expert panel, was commissioned last year in response to the Government’s Energy White Paper which outlined a long-term vision for energy policy. BBSRC is now asking for views on the review.

Dr Paul Burrows, Head of BBSRC’s Strategy Planning Unit, commented: “Bioenergy is an area of rapidly increasing interest for scientists, policy makers and the public. This review tackled important questions about how fundamental bioscience funded by BBSRC can facilitate the development of knowledge, skills and tools to best enable the future of bioenergy whilst complementing the work already taking place in this area by other Research Councils, Government and Industry.”

The findings have been welcomed by BBSRC Strategy Board which is inviting feedback from the wider community to help consider the role BBSRC should play in shaping the future of bioscience research relevant to bioenergy.

Key questions in the consultation include; should bioenergy research be a priority in the UK, should it be publicly funded and who should be taking lead responsibility for bioenergy research?

Dr Burrows added: “BBSRC hopes a wide variety of stakeholders will respond in order to explore the big issues as well as those specific to the needs and interests of the science community. These views will help inform BBSRC’s future strategic outlook for bioenergy-relevant bioscience and increase the transparency and effectiveness of BBSRC priority setting and funding strategies.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The wider community and the public are invited to submit their views on the future priorities for BBSRC research on bionenergy. These views will contribute to BBSRC strategy in this area which will be published in the next Delivery Plan (Spring 2007).

The deadline for responses is 31 August 2006.

The review was considered by BBSRC’s Strategy Board at its meeting on 7 March 2006.

About BBSRC

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £380 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

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