Archive for 'Uncategorized'

  • Tackling resistance is far from futile

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    One of the ways BBSRC seeks input from our research community and other stakeholder groups is through our Research Advisory Panel (RAP). The panel helps with assessing our strategic thinking across the range of our activities and we had our first meeting of the year last week. One of the areas we discussed was anti-microbial resistance (AMR). Of course this has been an issue that has been very much to the fore in the past couple of years since the publication of Dame Sally Davies’s report on the subject and a report last year by RAND showed that the economic burden of AMR globally in the future will place a substantial burden on the world economy. The report concludes that it is this future burden that renders AMR a “challenge of utmost importance”.  There is also a UK government 5-year strategy for tackling anti-microbial resistance covering both human and animal AMR which was published in 2013 with the first annual progress report published in December 2014. There is still a need to increase understanding of AMR and its implications among non-scientists.  For example an informal, and yes very random, trawl of people I met last year from taxi drivers to friends and family showed that many people still think it is the person that is resistant to the antibiotic rather than the bug! I am pleased to see that Dame Sally will be taking her message about the threat from AMR to the AAAS Annual Meeting in the United States next month, where the Research Councils will also have a strong presence emphasising the importance of global collaboration to tackle this and other major challenges facing us. […]

  • Engaging our plant and agriculture stakeholders

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Over the past couple weeks I have been able to focus a bit more on our stakeholders and collaborators in the Agritech and plant sectors. During the first week of January I made my first ever visit to the Oxford Farming Conference and I was very impressed. BBSRC held a fringe meeting highlighting some of the research we have invested in, how it is translated and the role of stakeholders in accelerating and maximising impact. The room was packed! I must congratulate our presenters who all kept to time and presented their work in a way that was both clear and impactful. I certainly had very good feedback on the session from people I spoke to over the next few days. It was nice to see that Tom Heap from BBC Countryfile was there and engaged – I am an avid fan of Countryfile and it quite leaves a hole in my Sunday evenings if it’s not on! […]

  • A coming year of reviews and a personal perspective on dementia

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    A Happy New Year to everybody. Clearly a year that contains a General Election, a spending review and a review of the Research Councils will not be dull!

    I hope the review of the Research Councils will give more opportunities to exemplify the impacts arising from the Research Councils’ investments in research, how we invest collaboratively and dynamically to respond to new challenges and changing priorities and how we are striving to be more efficient. It will also, of course, identify ways in which the Research Councils could be more effective, efficient and innovative in their operations, as indeed all organisations should strive to do. […]

  • Final blog of 2014

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    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! […]

  • Realising the promise of the bioeconomy

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Recently we in BBSRC have been thinking more holistically about our research and translational activities with a focus on the bioeconomy as it relates to our portfolio. Over the past few years a number of countries (for example, Germany (PDF)) have published Bioeconomy Strategies to provide a focus for funding and industrial activity. One can think of the bioeconomy as encompassing all the economic activity derived from bio-based products and processes. Such products and processes can provide sustainable and resource-efficient solutions for a range of industrial sectors including food, agriculture, chemicals, energy production, health and environmental protection. The size of the bioeconomy is truly staggering – in the EU alone the bioeconomy is estimated to be worth two trillion euros accounting for 22 million jobs, which is about 9% of the EU labour market. Each euro invested in EU-funded bioeconomy research and innovation is estimated to trigger €10 of value added in bioeconomy sectors by 2025. […]