A Pounds 10 million bioinformatics research programme, innovation as a business process and the interaction of genetics and environment in determining health are among the initiatives the six research councils are launching or proposing as a response to the Technology Foresight initiative.
A report published by the Cabinet Office this week shows that the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is implementing Foresight via the activities of its three directorates: chemicals and pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food.
The EPSRC says that 14 of the 15 Foresight panel reports are of direct relevance to it. One outcome of its response will be the establishment of a research centre for one or more of the priority areas. The council is also discussing the future of its Interdisciplinary Research Centres.
The Economic and Social Research Council is looking at innovation as a business process. Other key themes are: trade, instability and the changing international order; the impact of electronic technology on human activities and social exclusion and social integration.
Ageing and the genetics/environment interface as it affects health are two areas which the Medical Research Council is looking at in its response to Foresight.
The Natural Environment Research Council has recently revamped its research programme around six key environmental issues: resources, biodiversity, pollution, waste, risks and hazards, and global change. All of these are relevant to Foresight, it says.