BBSRC has welcomed news of government funding that will benefit world-leading bioscience. In a speech at the Policy Exchange, Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts gave further details of the allocation of the additional £600M of funding, mainly for capital investment in science and technology that was announced by the Chancellor George Osborne, in the Autumn Statement in December 2012.
The speech highlighted excellence in UK agricultural research and noted the role of The Roslin Institute, which receives BBSRC strategic-funding, in breeding the world's chickens - of the £85Bn global poultry market, 80% of breeding chickens come from genetic stock developed in the UK.
The details of the funding included investment in BBSRC's world-leading Research and Innovation Campuses, which make a key contribution to the UK by ensuring that research makes a variety of important impacts, enabling economic growth, assuring national security, contributing to interactions with important international trading partners and supporting key economic sectors.
Investment for the implementation of key recommendations it the UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap were also included.
The details of the £600M funding were:
- £189M for e-infrastructure in areas including a new bioinformatics capability in universities, an Environmental Virtual Observatory, and investment in the ESRC-led Life Study, the most ambitious birth cohort study yet, to ensure the UK maintains its leadership in social sciences
- £35M for centres of excellence in Robotics and Autonomous Systems
- £50M to support the implementation of key recommendations from the UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap
- £20M capital investment for the Regenerative Medicine Platform
- £65M in buildings, joint facilities and infrastructure to promote co-location of industry, high-tech business and academic groups on Research and Innovation campuses - £30M for capital investment in BBSRC's world-leading Research and Innovation Campuses
- £45M in advanced materials research
- £30M to create dedicated R&D facilities to develop and test new grid scale energy storage technologies
- £50M for scientists to upgrade equipment and labs