I can’t believe how quickly our 20th anniversary year has flown by – it seems like only yesterday that we were preparing for the launch last January with so many past and present colleagues in Church Hall, Westminster! During the year we have raised over £5000 for our chosen anniversary charities from fundraising efforts in Swindon Office – and there will hopefully be more to come next year when, injuries permitting, I will finally get to do my half-marathon. It has to be said that trying to find the time to train has not been easy now my knee is better – there is so much going on!
We have achieved much as an organisation this year and now is a good time to reflect on what we have accomplished, just some of which are highlighted below:
- Invested in some fantastic pioneering bioscience across our portfolio
- Delivery of Pirbright’s world leading high containment facility known now as the BBSRC National Virology Centre (on time and on budget) – the building and the project have won several major awards
- Several other large campus projects also progressed on time and on budget – including at the Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise and the Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus
- Launched calls for the Agri-tech Centres with Innovate UK
- Announced the results of the first round of the Agri-tech and Industrial Biotechnology (IB) catalysts. A second round for the IB catalyst was launched and a further commitment to rounds 3 and 4 were announced
- Co-invested with other Research Councils in a range of strategic calls e.g. in aquaculture, bovine tuberculosis, zoonosis and emerging livestock diseases (ZELS) and antimicrobial resistance
- Undertook a mid-term review of our strategically funded institutes
- Funded 12 Anniversary Future Leaders Fellowships
- Announced the second round of Doctoral training Partnerships awards – £125M will fund 1250 new PhD students over the course of a 5 year period
- Continued the successful research industry clubs with new funding announced for the diet and health industry club
In addition BBSRC has contributed to policy and scientific reviews. For example, members of BBSRC have given evidence to Select Committees and played a key role in the delivery of the Animal and Plant Health Review. BBSRC also carried out a stakeholder benchmarking exercise that has significantly contributed to our new corporate communication and engagement strategy.
I have really enjoyed my first year and a bit with BBSRC – but must confess I am looking forward to a bit of ‘down time’ over Christmas and New Year. Whatever you are doing over the holidays, I wish you a peaceful break and a happy New Year!