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UK Research Office in Brussels celebrates 25th anniversary

5 March 2010

The UK Research Office - the European office of the UK Research Councils - celebrates its 25th anniversary this week, including a reception at the official residence of the UK Permanent Representative to the EU in Brussels.

The office, which is managed by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) on behalf of Research Councils UK (RCUK), was established at the beginning of the first EU research Framework Programme to provide a direct point of liaison with EU institutions and to provide insight, information and guidance on EU policies and programmes.

Dr Amanda Crowfoot, Director of UKRO said: "It is wonderful to be celebrating 25 years of UKRO's work. We aim to ensure that UK researchers are fully engaged with EU research, innovation and higher education programmes and it is tremendously rewarding to know that the UK is now one of the most successful countries in the EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development."

In Framework Programme 6 the UK was involved in over 45% of successful proposals and received 14% of the funding - a trend that is continuing into Framework Programme 7 (FP7) with the UK taking the largest proportion of funding in 2008. The European Research Council (ERC) has been introduced in FP7 and UKRO became the UK National Contact Point for those applying to ERC. In the 2009 'Starting Grant' call around 18% of all successful proposals were hosted by UK institutions and for 'Advanced Grants' in the same year, the figure is around 25%.

BBSRC has been managing partner of UKRO for almost 20 years and is involved with a number of UK contributions to realising the European Research Area.

Tim Willis, BBSRC Head of International Relations said: "BBSRC is tremendously proud to manage UKRO on behalf of RCUK. Our community of scientists benefits from the opportunities that UKRO can facilitate for UK researchers in Europe. We are pleased to be jointly - with the French National Institute of Agricultural Research - leading development of a Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change."

A celebratory reception took place on Tuesday at the official residence of the UK Permanent Representative to the EU in Brussels. This was attended by representatives from the Research Councils, European Commission, European Parliament, UK Government, universities and other European research offices. Speaking at the event were Lesley Thompson (Research Councils UK) and Marion Dewar (Member of the Cabinet of the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn).

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information about UKRO see: www.ukro.ac.uk

For more information about ERC see: http://erc.europa.eu

For more information about the European Research Area see: http://ec.europa.eu/research/era

About BBSRC

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 in the UK and beyond and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders, including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

BBSRC provides institute strategic research grants to the following:

  • The Babraham Institute
  • Institute for Animal Health
  • Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Studies (Aberystwyth University)
  • Institute of Food Research
  • John Innes Centre
  • The Genome Analysis Centre
  • The Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh)
  • Rothamsted Research

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

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382