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Strategic plan: the age of bioscience
BBSRC’s Vision is to lead world-class 21st century bioscience, promoting innovation and realising benefits for society within and beyond the UK
The 21st century will be the age of bioscience. A biological revolution is unfolding in the same way that advances in physics shaped the early 20th century and great leaps in electronics and computing have transformed our lives over the past 40 years.
New tools and technologies, advances in computation and multidisciplinary approaches are changing the way in which bioscience is undertaken. Never before have researchers had such large data sets and been able to explore such a range, depth and complexity of questions about living systems and how they function.
BBSRC has a unique and central place in supporting the UK’s world-leading position in bioscience. Our funding for research and training provides knowledge and skilled people thereby making major contributions across society and the economy. Excellent bioscience drives advances in medicine and health, ‘green materials’, new pharmaceuticals, and safe and nutritious food; it leads to more sustainable agriculture, helps to combat infectious diseases and underpins responses to climate change.
Light micrograph (Elodea sp) showing chloroplasts
In the coming decades bioscience will be at the heart of providing solutions to major challenges facing humankind such as –
- feeding 9 billion people sustainably by 2050
- developing renewable ‘low carbon’ sources of energy, transport fuels and chemicals to reduce dependence on dwindling oil reserves
- staying healthier for longer as lifespans increase and society ages
Building on strength, this 5-year Plan continues to move UK bioscience forward to exploit new and exciting ways of working and thinking. We will ensure that UK bioscience stays world-class and delivers significant social and economic benefits. The rate of progress will depend on our future budget but support for cutting edge bioscience and skills will remain the overarching priority.
…the first rough draft of the human genome, published in 2001, was a landmark achievement, which took the concerted effort of several international laboratories ten years to produce. Today draft human genome sequences are generated by single laboratories in a matter of days, and advances in technology will soon reduce this to a few hours…
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