Tag: innovation

  • Small surprises and farmers in Oxford

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    The start of a year is often a time for reflection on the previous 12 months and a look forward to the year ahead.

    Shortly before the Christmas break a request came through at short notice inviting me to meet with the Minister for Science and senior colleagues from the Ugandan government. The first surprise was that diaries worked. I was not sure what to expect as while we support some projects with links to Uganda, especially in the areas of animal and plant disease, they have not traditionally been a partner. And here was the second surprise – the 5-strong delegation were keen to learn more about UKRI, more about BBSRC and particularly our interests in the bioeconomy, which, with a different focus, they see as a major opportunity for development in Uganda. They were also very interested to understand how we fund research and innovation, as they are in the early stages of establishing their new Ministry. I very much enjoyed the discussions and at the end of the meeting had a huge sense of fulfilment; if I had in any way helped shape their thinking it was a meeting well worth the time and a satisfying, if surprising, way to round off a busy year. […]

  • India, impact and innovators

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    I was delighted to make my first trip to India recently, representing UKRI at the ‘Together for Impact’ celebrations marking a decade of India-UKRI partnership and to officially launch UKRI India. Some examples of UK-India collaborations can be viewed in this video, with more detail on a decade of cooperation available in this report (PDF).

    BBSRC has been building relationships with our Indian counterparts, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in particular, for the past two decades. BBSRC first signed an MoU with DBT in 1996 and then in 2006 we launched our India Partnering Award scheme, enabling BBSRC-supported researchers to forge long-term relationships with Indian counterparts (this year’s competition is open until 15 Nov 2018). With DBT we have funded joint research in bioenergy, livestock disease and crop production and with the availability of additional resources, via GCRF and the Newton Fund, have explored novel ways of partnering through sandpits (in aquaculture), joint centres (nitrogen in agriculture) and with other UKRI partners in reducing waste and enhancing use of agricultural data. […]

  • What a week that was for showcasing bioscience!

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    The week commencing 14 May 2018 was certainly one to remember for all of the opportunities it brought to showcase UK bioscience across the nation.

    As part of the formal launch of UK Research and Innovation, we were delighted that on Monday the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Sam Gymiah, visited the soon to be completed Quadram Institute on the Norwich Research Park. The Minister was accompanied by UK Research and Innovation CEO Sir Mark Walport and I, along with other partners including Quadram’s Director, Ian Charles, University of East Anglia Vice-Chancellor David Richardson and Mark Davis, CE of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals. Minister Gymiah met early career researchers and heard about their work on understanding antimicrobial resistance, food-bourne pathogens and the importance the gut microbiome plays in shaping our health. Both the Minister and Sir Mark talked about the important place that multidisciplinary institutes have in the UK’s research and innovation ecosystem and recognised the unique aspects of the Quadram Institute, bringing together fundamental bioscience research on food and health with clinical endoscopy services. A personal moment for me during the visit was being interviewed for BBC Look East – a programme I grew up with and one that I had never imagined I would appear on! […]

  • Frontier bioscience – international and infrastructure dimensions

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    Over the past few months, since I first spoke at the Royal Society of Biology’s parliamentary reception (part of their annual Biology Week), to explain how important it was to BBSRC that we champion and support the best ideas that seek to expand the frontiers of knowledge across the biosciences, I have heard about many excellent examples. […]