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HRH The Duke of York visits the Norwich Research Park

25 June 2010

HRH The Duke of York visited 2 BBSRC Institutes located on the Norwich Research Park today, Friday 25 June.

"We are delighted that HRH The Duke of York is visiting 2 of our Institutes on Norwich Research Park" commented Mr Paul Gemmill, Director of Communications and Information Management at the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council. Mr Gemmill explained to the Duke how the BBSRC funds and supports projects on the NRP that totalled £46M last year.  "BBSRC's underpinning of the basic bioscience pipeline through to innovation and exploitation is a crucial component in maintaining the UK as a leading business contributor at international level" Mr Gemmill said.

Dr Jane Rogers is presented to HRH The Duke of York by Professor Tim O'Riordan
Dr Jane Rogers is presented to HRH The Duke of York by Professor Tim O'Riordan. © TGAC
.Darren Heavens discusses the outputs from sequencing
Darren Heavens discusses the outputs from sequencing, © TGAC

The Duke of York toured the BBSRC Genome Analysis Centre, which opened in 2009, where the Director, Dr Jane Rogers introduced him to the staff and explained how TGAC is addressing problems in agriculture, sustainable energy, food and nutrition, through novel approaches in genomics and how it is specialising in genomics technology, high throughput data analysis, advanced bioinformatics and innovation.

Scientists at the Institute of Food Research showed The Duke of York their 'Model Gut'. Co-inventor Richard Faulks and Dr Martin Stocks from PBL Ltd, who provide investment and business development leadership to the project, introduced the system, which is providing the food and pharmaceutical industries with a physiological, cost effective and ethical alternative to animal studies and allows scientists to investigate the digestion of real foods or real pharmaceutical preparations on the laboratory bench.

Dr Mario Caccamo, Bioinformatics programme leader
Dr Mario Caccamo, Bioinformatics programme leader. © TGAC

The Duke of York also met some of the other funders of developments on NRP, including EEDA and local councils, together with Mr John Irving from Colney Innovations Limited, who manages the new NRP Innovation Centre and the Norbio Incubator.



BBSRC is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £470M 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.