Following our latest Audit Board meeting, I made an appearance (available for a while to be viewed on Parliament TV) before the very distinguished House of Lords Science and Technology Committee to discuss the RCUK implementation of the Open Access (OA) agenda.  The draft transcript of that will be forthcoming before too long, and will soon enough be published. Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts also gave evidence, just after us.

This year, BBSRC sponsored a Table at the annual dinner of the BioIndustry Association, where we were delighted to host the Minister – who gave a short and very upbeat speech about the prospects for Biotechnology – and other guests. We were also very pleased that Council member Andy Richards received a Lifetime Achievement Award, and that the winners of this year’s Biotechnology YES competition were in attendance. The BIA also published a second report (PDF) on Citizens’ Innovation funds, as one way to help fund biotechs, while the Government Office for Science published an interesting report (PDF) on assisting engagement between academia and policymakers.

We had a useful meeting with colleagues from the Wellcome Trust in the area of Bioinformatics and Biological Resources funding and their equivalent schemes. We interviewed for a new Council member, the results of which form advice that will now go forward for Ministerial consideration.

There is a lot of stuff going on in OA right now. Here are two (one, two) more or less wildly contrasting views, albeit driven by differing objective functions. One recognition in this area is that many folk do not know how to find out easily which journals are either fully Open Access or compliant with the evolving RCUK policy. For this the Directory of Open Access Journals and SherpaRomeo provide helpful solutions.

I also enjoyed a thoughtful post about tools for visualising metabolic networks, a refreshingly honest piece about the next generation of supercomputers, a nice rehearsal of the Big Data agenda, and an interesting site that allows code associated with scientific papers to be shared and (re)run.

Finally, let me draw attention to our announcement of the 2013 finalists for Innovator of the Year.

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