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Shape the future of bioscience research - consultation launched on proposals for new BBSRC strategic plan

8 July 2009

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has identified three high-level strategic research priorities and is now asking interested stakeholders to respond to a consultation as it develops these proposals into its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan.

The proposed new strategic priorities are bioenergy and biorenewables, food security and bioscience for health. These are some of the most significant challenges facing society and as areas at the heart of BBSRC’s remit they are areas where the Council’s funding can make a real difference on a national and international stage.

BBSRC is proposing to support the delivery of the priorities with a number of underpinning themes – integrative and systems biology, exploiting ‘big data’, tools, technologies and facilities, translation, innovation and skills and partnerships.

The consultation document – available with details of how to respond on the BBSRC website:  www.bbsrc.ac.uk/consultations - outlines the Council’s emerging strategic planning to both underpin UK future economic competitiveness and address these major challenges.

The consultation is open until 14 September 2009.

Having identified these proposed priorities and underpinning themes, BBSRC now wants to hear from stakeholders about whether they are the right things for it to be concentrating on over the next five years.

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "To find sustainable solutions to the challenges of the 21st Century the world is increasingly looking to bioscience. Avoiding a crisis in food security, delivering a sustainable bio-based green economy and helping people to enjoy long and healthy lives will require bioscience knowledge. At the same time, huge amounts of data from modern approaches to science, new systems techniques, web 2.0 and semantic computing will provide new ways of working and opportunities for our scientists.

"At BBSRC we want to hear from all stakeholders about their views on the priorities we are proposing and the approaches we think will underpin them. This is your chance to shape UK bioscience into the next decade."

ENDS

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 £450M 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. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.

Contact

Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299
fax: 01793 413382