Biotech Updates

Minister Announces £250M Strategic Investment in UK BioScience

June 1, 2012

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts announced the £250 funding to support various researchers that will make UK's bioscience research base globally competitive and responsive to the grand challenges society will be facing in the coming decades.

Commenting on the funding, the minister said that "This £250 million investment from Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for the first phase of major five year research programmes will sustain excellent science at some of the UK's leading institutes and universities. This will drive growth, support highly skilled jobs and keep the UK at the very forefront of bioscience, with benefits ranging from health care to energy and global food security."

Funds will be provided to the following projects as enumerated in the 26 Institute Strategic Programme:

  • Wheat pre-breeding programme at the John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research and University partners.
  • Investment in a vector-borne diseases programme at Institute for Animal Health
  • Funding for a programme in integrated gut health led by Institute of Food Research
  • Immunology programme at the Babraham Institute focused on lymphocyte homeostasis.

In addition, 14 strategic UK capabilities will be developed and maintained that include the following: ARK-Genomics at The Roslin Institute; long-term experiments at Rothamsted Research; the Genome Analysis Centre for advanced high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics; and BBSRC Crop Phenotyping Centre at Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University.

Details of the grant and the specific projects can be viewed at