Research campuses get BBSRC cash boost

A £30 million investment in research and innovation campuses from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has been unveiled.

July 23, 2013

It is hoped that the investment, announced by David Willetts yesterday, will drive economic growth in the UK, where the funding will be distributed between four research centres.

Aberystwyth Innovation & Diffusion Campus, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise, The Easter Bush Campus and Norwich Research Park will each receive a slice of the investment which will nurture innovation and the translation of agri-science into real-life applications.

Speaking at East Malling Research Station, part of a consortium which recently received £800,000 from the BBSRC, Willetts said: “Britain has the potential to be world-leading in agricultural science and technology, yet our productivity growth has dropped significantly in the past 30 years.

“These leading edge campuses will help reverse that trend by getting our researchers and businesses working together to commercialise their ideas.”

The universities and science minister announced the investment alongside the launch of the £160 million Agricultural Technologies Strategy – a scheme designed to transform farming in the UK and makethe country a world leader in addressing global food security issues.

Lord De Mauley, the minister for science in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “We face a global challenge to feed the rapidly increasing population in a way which is affordable and sustainable.
“We are investing in technologies that will enable British farmers to meet these challenges and take advantage of the growing demand in export markets for British food.”

The strategy sees a £90 million investment in world-class Centres for Agricultural Innovation that will support the adoption of technology and innovation, as well as £60 million in an “Agri-Tech Catalyst” that will support small- and medium-sized businesses bridge the “valley of death” between the laboratory and the marketplace.

A further £10 million has been earmarked to support the transfer of new technology and products to developing countries. A partnership between Rothamsted and Syngenta to increase wheat productivity was also announced.

Douglas Kell, chief executive of BBSRC, welcomed the strategy, and said:“This strategy clearly highlights that the government recognises the potential of agriculture as a business sector to support economic growth, job creation and support global food security.

“BBSRC will continue to invest in world-leading researchers, universities and institutesto ensure the UK has the skills and capabilities to drive advances in bioscience which are essential if we are to fulfill the aims of this new strategy and find sustainable solutions to tackle the major global challenges facing us all.”

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham