Before the Easter weekend, I felt very privileged to be asked to lay the foundation stone for the new Open Innovation Hub at Rothamsted Research last week – a significant milestone in the development at Rothamsted of a UK Research and Innovation Campus. It gave me an opportunity to talk about open innovation and the benefits an open innovation approach can bring to both industry and academia. Open innovation is an approach that I strongly believe can accelerate the translation of research into application and unlock solutions to otherwise seemingly unsolvable problems. I championed the approach in my previous roles in the pharmaceutical sector and ran my own business that sought to harness the power of open innovation before joining BBSRC. [...]
Tag: open access
The last few weeks before Christmas have been very busy with meetings with Chief Executives of the other Research Councils, partnership meetings with industry, BIS and other public bodies, as well as presentations and talks.
I attended a council meeting of the Society of Biology and agreed with members around the table that we should explore other areas where we could work more closely together.
The highlight of the past two weeks (apart from my daughter’s graduation!) was the official launch of ELIXIR in Brussels on 18 December. This marked the transition of ELIXIR to an operational phase as Europe’s sustainable infrastructure for biological data. [...]
While I have some important external meetings this coming week, including one with Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Mark Walport, this will be my last blog (of more than 200) as BBSRC Chief Executive, so it will include some material of a valedictory nature.
The first major external meeting of last week was of our Research Advisory Panel; this is a most important forum where we bring together the Chairs of Strategy Panels and of the Research Committees who are responsible for Delivery, plus those Council members who are members of the Strategic LoLa Committee. As well as a look at the overall portfolio, we scrutinised progress reports on each of the many Institute Strategic Programme Grants and National Capability Grants. All told, these various activities constitute a large and impressive funding portfolio, albeit (as I have remarked before in the context of a Zipf distribution) one that is comparatively thinly spread among individual investigators. [...]
Last week was somewhat truncated because of the Bank Holiday, and the chief external activities involved the final four ‘Institute partnership’ meetings of the ‘season’, indeed my final ‘season’ as CEO, with The Pirbright Institute, TGAC, Rothamsted Research and the John Innes Centre. It was extremely useful to see the excellent science being performed, some of which – as in the announcement on the latest paper on ‘purple tomatoes’ (which shows clearly that they can extend their own shelf life, as well as that of mice), illustrates clearly the benefits to be had from continuous long-term funding. Of course the apotheosis of this idea is represented by the ‘long-term experiments’ at Rothamsted, that began some 170 years ago!
The week started with the latest meeting of the e-infrastructure leadership Council, co-chaired by Minister of Universities and Science David Willetts, where the main items centred around developing the details of our strategies for e-science. A second and very interesting meeting on infrastructures, organised by the Foundation for Science and Technology, was addressed by Sir John Armitt, Professor Brian Collins, and Tim Yeo MP, each giving some very insightful perspectives on UK large infrastructure needs, how they might better be joined up, and how we need to increase their recognition as a public good that transcends typical parliamentary timescales, and needs a clearer recognition of the extent to which the private sector can provide that.
I appeared with others before the Business, Innovation and Skills Commons Select Committee to discuss Open Access (and note the new RCUK guidelines, also as pdf). These meetings are streamed live, and then made available via the internet; our session starts at about 10-49 into the video that may be viewed here. [...]