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20 years of pioneering Great British bioscience

20 years of pioneering Great British bioscience - 31 October 2013
Highlights from: 20 years of bioscience
  • BBSRC 20th anniversary awards for bioscience excellence
  • National programme of science communication
  • Great British Bioscience Festival

In 2014, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) will mark its 20th anniversary with a series of engaging activities to highlight the impact of its research base, world-leading bioscience, and its important contribution to the UK economy.

Many of the activities will build on existing BBSRC public, industry and stakeholder engagement programmes but will be brought together with a common strand for 2014: '20 years of pioneering Great British bioscience'.

The anniversary year will involve the whole BBSRC community and culminates in a Great British Bioscience Festival in London, featuring excellent, engaging science for the UK public.

BBSRC was created in 1994 from the former Agriculture and Food Research Council and the biology programmes of the Science and Engineering Research Council.

Anniversary badge

It has pioneered Great British bioscience for 20 years, funding billions of pounds of research and training in areas critical to the UK's economic and social wellbeing, such as agriculture, industrial biotechnology and health. The anniversary will highlight major achievements over this time, whilst drawing on recent impacts to show the potential of bioscience in the future.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC's Chief Executive, said: "There has never been a better time to focus on bioscience and our 20th year is an important milestone as we see the potential of biology continue to expand.

"Investing in high-quality research is delivering real-world economic, social and health benefits to people in the UK and around the world, addressing major challenges, such as feeding 9Bn people sustainably by 2050, developing new sources of energy, and staying healthier with increasing lifespans."

During this anniversary year BBSRC will highlight its commitment to maintaining the UK's position as world-leader in this exciting field and training the next generations of scientists to continue the legacy of Great British bioscience.

Highlights during the anniversary year will include:

  • Funding for BBSRC researcher groups to communicate their science to the public across the UK with their science
  • A bioscience image competition
  • A Great British Bioscience Festival in London, bringing a range of exciting, interactive exhibits to the public
  • Awards for bioscience excellence to recognise and inspire the research community that underpin Britain's global lead
  • The launch of a new early-career fellowship programme
  • BBSRC Schools Regional Champions and the BBSRC research community will work together to take research bioscience into schools and biology lessons

Further details of these events will be announced through the year.

Professor Hunter added: "I am proud to lead BBSRC as it turns 20 and look forward to the coming years of BBSRC pioneering Great British bioscience."



BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, and with an annual budget of around £467M (2012-2013), we support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see:
For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see:

Tags: 20 years of bioscience policy BBSRC press release