Tag: international

  • A week in California

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    The past week and a bit was spent on the US West Coast, talking to experts in Big Data, Synthetic Biology (Synbio) and Plant and Animal Health. My colleagues, Melanie Welham and Amanda Collis, and I had some fascinating discussions which really helped put our plans for the next spending review in an international context. For example, in Synbio, it is clear that the approach needs to be truly multidisciplinary with a well-articulated biological problem at the heart of any programme rather than developing the tools and technologies in the abstract. However, investment in platforms is still required. It is also clear from talking to a number of researchers that the USA does not have an integrated Big Data strategy nor an overall Synbio strategy, although there are many well-funded initiatives. I wonder whether there is a need for some global solution for integrating and maintaining databases when funding terminates for a particular area. In the biomedical/health space, this might be something for Gates Foundation or another global funder to address in partnership with more regional funders. Who funds, and what to store permanently and how, is definitely something that needs more debate. […]

  • Punching above our weight – world-leading UK science

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    Most of last week was spent in various universities hearing about some really great science. I met with and talked to students and staff involved in BBSRC funded work at the University of Cambridge. The meetings were held in The Sainsbury Laboratory which is situated in the Botanic Gardens and has been really thoughtfully designed – right down to the Ginkgos planted outside the entrance. […]

  • Global science and international relations

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    I attended and spoke at the UK Research Office (UKRO) conference in Bristol last Friday. The conference is an annual event but this year was also celebrating 30 years of UKRO in Brussels. Since 1984, UKRO has been promoting effective UK engagement in EU research, innovation and higher education activities and operating as the Research Councils’ office in Brussels. […]

  • Europe, Oxford and inspiring diversity

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    In the early part of last week I participated in a meeting organised by Science Europe on the European Research Area (ERA) which discussed topics in the broad areas of the role of funders in ERA, research impact and its assessment and the reproducibility of research. In the latter session a presentation from Nature journals highlighted some issues of consistency in terms of good experimental practice in one of their journals that I think will bear some further investigation. Ensuring that the researchers we fund adhere to excellent standards of experimentation is something all the research councils in the UK take very seriously. […]