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Response from Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, to Oxford Farming Conference survey findings

7 January 2010

“BBSRC is pleased to have had the opportunity to sponsor two surveys on agricultural research, which were presented at the Oxford Farming Conference this week. It is very important for us to know the views of the end users of the research we fund and we are grateful to those who have taken time to respond.

“By all the conventional measures of scientific excellence, UK research in the biosciences that underpin food and farming is world leading. But it can take many years to translate this excellence into practical differences on the farm and in food manufacture. When high quality research is applied in practice, the original research can become obscured. That said, it is absolutely clear that we need to accelerate translation from fundamental science into real life applications.

“We also recognise the importance of communicating the outcomes of research. In December we launched www.foodsecurity.ac.uk, which is a source of information about research in this area and also a forum for discussion of the issues around food security. We are working closely with our funded scientists to encourage and support them to communicate with the public directly and via the media. Groups such as Rothamsted Research Association are also actively bringing together scientists and the farming community.”

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