Tag: farming

  • Crop breeding technologies workshop – my perspective

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    There are many global challenges where crops have an important role to play – the prediction that the world’s population is predicted to increase from 7 billion now to 9 billion in 2050 (PDF), demand for meat will increase by 40% by 2025 and the fact that 30% of all crops in Africa (PDF) are destroyed by insects and weeds are just a few of the issues facing us globally. [...]

  • Oxford farming, open access and Honours

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    Among a number of our community who were honoured in Her Majesty’s list of New Year Honours (pdf), I was especially delighted to see that our Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer Steve Visscher had been awarded a richly deserved CBE, for Services to the Support of Scientific Research. BBSRC’s formal announcement is elsewhere, so here all I shall record is many congratulations indeed to Steve!

    Just before the break, the Government’s Intellectual Property Office published an important updated response (pdf) to the Hargreaves Review, setting down clear guidance as to how copyright is to be modernized to allow (among other things) researchers to make the best fair use of published research – which by definition needs to be Open Access. While Open Access has some transition costs (financial and otherwise) I do hope  that UK researchers will be alive, encouraged, and thereby well placed, to exploit the opportunities that such Open Access brings for innovation. [...]

  • Council, Rothamsted, GSK and climate change

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    An important meeting last week was the last Council meeting of 2012, where substantive items included a detailed, high-level analysis of our research grant expenditure and portfolio, plus discussion and approval of our plans for rolling out further and exciting programmes in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.

    We also had a very useful meeting of the ‘Members’ of Rothamsted Research, where we were able to have high-level discussions of modern farming and the Agri-Tech strategy. [...]

  • Celebrations, talks and bioenergy

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    As we near the Christmas holidays (and this will be the last blog of 2011), I can look back on an exceptional year of achievement for BBSRC: a ring-fenced budget, many exciting scientific breakthroughs, the maintenance of the UK as the premier nation in biology, and a slew of recent announcements of large capital sums awarded for important biological projects. A measure of this was my latest quarterly talk to staff last week, in which I listed some of these, that occupied fully 90 minutes.

    Much of the rest of the week was punctuated by celebratory events, including a trip to St James’s Palace to launch and take forward thinking on the Festival of food and farming (“Farming in the Park”) taking place in Hyde Park in September 2013. Among the speeches, including one from Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, we were honoured to be addressed by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who spoke eloquently and without notes on the importance of British farming and food, as well as providing a witty and entertaining history of our palatial surrounding. [...]

  • Celebrating scientific successes

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    Last week was an unusually celebratory one, in that I attended a number of functions that involved celebrations of UK and more general scientific endeavours. One function, including a flash-bang pyrotechnic display and sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry, was arranged at the House of Commons to celebrate the launch of the International Year of Chemistry. Another at the University of Manchester celebrated the award of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics to Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, while on Tuesday I attended the launch of the astonishingly comprehensive and authoritative Global Food and Farming Futures Foresight report.  I also attended the annual celebration of the BioIndustry Association, also attended by the winners of the Biotechnology YES competition that we co-sponsor. [...]