Chief Executive's blog

News from our Chief Executive, Professor Jackie Hunter

  • Strengthening a transatlantic bioscience partnership – part one

    Jackie Hunter

    BBSRC colleagues and I have just spent a very intense but extremely interesting week in the USA. We had two main aims – to meet some world-leading US-based bioscientists to understand where they saw the direction of their science over the next 5-10 years and to hold discussions with major US federal research funders on current and future strategy and opportunities for closer partnership. Both sets of discussions will inform our spending review preparations and the next iteration of our strategic plan. They also provided some useful insights into our current strategy and a perspective from the USA on where the strengths of UK bioscience lie. […]

  • Back to blogging! New Bioscience for Health strategic publications

    Jackie Hunter

    Well it’s good to be back blogging after purdah and holidays – I can definitely recommend the beaches of Brittany although perhaps not in May if you want to be guaranteed perfect weather! Just before purdah started BBSRC published two important documents in Bioscience for Health. The first was a strategic research framework in Bioscience for Health, 2015-2020 (PDF). This framework will be a living document, responsive to emerging opportunities for excellent research and innovation but does provide a set of long term goals for our research portfolio in this area. It links with our ambitions for the new centre for food and health at Norwich where we plan some very exciting science in many areas including the microbiome and its role in health and disease. Within the Bioscience for Health Strategy there are four challenge areas: lifelong health, nutrition for health, one health and biotechnology for health. […]

  • A flurry of reports and announcements

    Jackie Hunter

    This week has seen the launch of some key initiatives from the Research Councils (RCs). The first is the publication of the application and success rates by age and gender for each of the RCs with a commentary to add context. This forms part of the Equality and Diversity Strategy for RCUK and these tables will be updated annually. The second initiative has been the launch of the Research Innovate Grow message to highlight the key role the RCs play in ensuring the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. […]

  • Our need for industry in delivering benefits from research

    Jackie Hunter

    The issue of Nature last week contained a special supplement on Innovations in the Microbiome. The microbiome is something I have become increasingly fascinated with, starting from early realisations of its importance whilst at GlaxoSmithKline, through to the work BBSRC sponsors at the Institute of Food Research and in universities. It was interesting to read the article by Nestlé, who sponsored the supplement, charting their interest in probiotic bacteria and the microbiome. Much of this work is done in conjunction with academia and indeed much of it could not have been done by Nestlé alone. But similarly, the academic researchers have needed Nestlé to translate their work into applications with industry and consumer benefit. […]