Last week began with the chance to welcome the Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts to Rothamsted Research, with discussions focusing on the productivity of both food and non-food crops. The productivity gains in e.g. willow production are already themselves increasing markedly as a result of the ‘appliance of science’ to breeding and agronomy.
We had a lengthy meeting of Council, the first day of which involved some major decisions regarding the funding of the Institutes that receive strategic support from BBSRC. Subject to some further work, these outcomes are likely to be announced in the next week or two.
I attended a superb talk by Sir Greg Winter, run by the Foundation for Science and Technology, that covered the history of his production and commercialisation (via Cambridge Antibody Technology, now MedImmune) of humanised monoclonal antibodies. It was notable that 6 of the top ten selling drugs (generating $5-10Bn per year) are humanised antibodies – a huge success for a British technology. [...]