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BBSRC funding to tackle major challenges

25 May 2012

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, has announce substantial funding that will ensure the UK's bioscience research base remains globally competitive and at the forefront of meeting the grand challenges faced by society in the coming decades.

BBSRC allocated £250M as the first phase of five year strategic investment programmes. This includes 26 strategic science programmes and 14 key national research capabilities, to be delivered by eight of the UK's world-leading bioscience research institutes and their university partners.

Read summaries of the institute's news stories below:

Babraham Institute

Minister opens new facilities to boost bioscience business at Babraham

Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willets, opened new bioscience facilities for business start-ups at the Babraham Research Campus today.

Professor Michael Wakelam, Director of the Babraham Institute said, "We are delighted to show the Minister the progress that we are making to support economic growth here at Babraham, a research-led campus that builds on the world-leading BBSRC-funded research of the Babraham Institute. As a leading hub of life sciences innovation in the UK, the Babraham Research Campus plays a key role in supporting early-stage biomedical enterprises, while also helping to attract inward investment. These new facilities will enable us to build on our current strengths and support the life sciences industry in both the region and the UK."

While visiting the Campus, the Minister also highlighted £250M funding that will ensure the UK's bioscience research base remains globally competitive and at the forefront of meeting the grand challenges faced by society in the coming decades.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has allocated the strategic investment that includes 26 strategic science programmes and 14 key national research capabilities, to be delivered by eight of the UK's world-leading bioscience research institutes and their university partners.

£37M has been allocated to the Babraham Institute, including a Strategic Program Grant to improve understanding of immunology. This will have important implications for supporting healthy, longer lives as the population ages.

"We are delighted that this funding award will continue to support world leading, strategically relevant bioscience research at the Babraham Institute," Professor Michael Wakelam added.

Institute for Animal Health

£38M investment to protect UK livestock

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced that the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) has been awarded £38M of strategic investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). This investment will enable the Institute to maintain its status as a world-leading centre for virology doing work that protects livestock from economically important diseases such as foot-and-mouth, bluetongue, and Marek's disease.

"This funding", says IAH Director Professor John Fazakerley, "will enable the Institute to maintain its position as a world-leading centre for research into virus diseases of livestock and viruses that can transmit from animals to humans.

"We are delighted with this endorsement from BBSRC. We are proud of the work that we do and are committed to delivering the science strategy of the UK through excellent research. We share with BBSRC a commitment to using bioscience research to underpin future global food security as well as improvements in the wellbeing of humans and animals." For more information visit: www.pirbright.ac.uk/FrontStories/2012/38Minvestment.aspx.

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences

Bioscience nets £13M

Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, will today announce substantial funding for bioscience research in the UK which includes £13M for the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University.

The investment will help the UK to meet challenges such as sustainably feeding the growing world population, finding alternatives to dwindling fossil fuels and supporting an ageing society to remain healthy for longer.

Professor Wayne Powell, Director of IBERS said: "The announcement by the Minister of State for Universities and Science is a major milestone in the development of IBERS as a world-leading bioscience research institute. It recognises the excellent research that is being done here at IBERS to tackle some of the pressing issues faced by the world today, climate change, food and water security, and the need to replace fossil fuels."

Institute of Food Research

£29M investment in research and innovation at the Institute of Food Research

New research on the physical and chemical nature of food and its impact on health will help drive innovation in the UK and worldwide.

The research will make it possible for new healthy and safer food products to be developed, reducing the need for medical and social intervention. It will provide new insights into how certain food components moderate our risk of disease.

The funding will also enable scientists to explore ways to produce biofuels and industrial materials from novel biological sources. For more information visit: news.ifr.ac.uk/2012/05/2012-funding-ann.

John Innes Centre

£42M investment in UK crop and natural chemical innovation

New research will help reinvigorate the genetic diversity of wheat, reduce farmers' dependence on chemicals, put the UK at the lead of innovative research to grow plants as natural factories and accelerate the discovery of new antibiotics.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council (BBSRC) will invest £42M in plant and microbial science at the John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park.

The announcement today is part of £250M of strategic investment by BBSRC to ensure the UK's bioscience research base remains globally competitive. It is for the first phase of five year research programmes. For more information visit:  news.jic.ac.uk/2012/05/2012-funding-announcement.

The Roslin Institute

Roslin Receives £23M funding boost

Improving animal health and welfare and improving productivity in the livestock sector will be boosted with a multi-million funding award.

The Roslin Institute, at the University of Edinburgh, has received £23M from the Biotechnology and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences research Council (BBSRC).

The award, issued as the first phase of major five year research programmes, from the UK's leading bioscience agency, will facilitate the world leading research at The Roslin Institute in the animal sciences sector over the next five years.

It will also fund new and existing facilities at The Roslin Institute, such as those looking at how genomics and genetics can help better understand diseases in livestock, which will form part of a number of UK National Resource Centre.

Professor David Hume, Director of The Roslin Institute, said of the award, "I am delighted to receive this support from the BBSRC. The Roslin Institute is one of the leading Animal Sciences Institutes in the world and this award highlights the importance of our research to the productivity of the UK livestock sector. Government support for research institutes is critical and vital for economic success. It is estimated that since the mid-1960s, The Roslin Institute has alone generated approximately £101.8M in terms of value for productivity gains in the agricultural and food production sectors across the UK." For more information visit: www.roslin.ed.ac.uk/news/2012/05/24/roslin-receives-%26pound%3B23m-funding-boost/.

The Genome Analysis Centre

£19M investment in TGAC

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council (BBSRC) will invest £19M in TGAC on Norwich Research Park. The investment of £19M which will be used to ensure the TGAC can continue to deploy the latest advanced high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics for the UK bioscience community. The funding will also support the development of new approaches to storing and handling the huge amounts of data these new techniques generate. For more information visit: www.tgac.ac.uk/news/29/68/19-million-investment-in-TGAC

ENDS

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