1. Wheat research helps feed the world and drive the economy
Long term BBSRC investments increase UK and global wheat yields through research: unifying cereal genetics, harnessing the diversity of wild wheat, exploring the Green Revolution gene, producing improved UK wheat for bread making. BBSRC research has contributed to:
• new wheat varieties and improved farming practices
• yield increases of more than 300% from 2.5 tonnes per hectare in 1940 to 8 tonnes hectare now
• adding nearly 17M pounds to the value of UK wheat production in 2012 alone
• wheat now accounting for 20% of calories consumed by people globally
2. Fostering Innovation: 2013 Innovator of the Year
BBSRC encouraging entrpreneurship:
Innovator of the Year Competitions recognise and reward individuals and small teams who have harnessed the potential of their excellent research. Overall winner: Dr Ryan Donnelly, Queen’s University, Belfast,
with the research on Hydrogel-based Microneedles. Dr Donnelly developed tiny needles which pierce the skin without pain or bleeding and are applied using a skin patch; they either dissolve, leaving tiny holes in the outer skin layer to allow proteins and peptides enter the body, or swell to become a jelly-like substance to allow continual delivery or monitoring of medicine in a patient without taking blood samples. BBSRC investment funded the initial research into the technology, and was followed by further BBSRC investments including Super Follow-on Funding to work with industrial partners to scale up production.
3. Creating New Businesses: Spin-outs from BBSRC investments
Review to date of spin-out companies associated with BBSRC investments demonstrates that:
• 298 companies are attributable to BBSRC
• 78 are strongly attributable
• 75 are moderately attributable
• 100 are weakly attributable
• 45 are on BBSRC-supported research and innovation campuses
• 364 BBSRC-funded researchers involved in creating spin-outs
• 156 BBSRC-associated companies (those for which data available) employ 2,000 staff
Sector analysis shows that a significant proportion (62%) of companies are in health and pharma, with agriculture, animal health, chemicals, energy, environment, food and drink, and industrial biotechnology accounting for a further 27%.
4. Protection from Foot and Mouth Disease
Working in partnership BBSRC and MRC funded scientists have developed a new methodology to produce a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). The vaccine is synthetic, made up of tiny protein shells designed to trigger optimum immune response, so does not rely on growing live infectious virus and is therefore much safer to produce. The empty shells have been engineered to be more stable, which:
• Makes the vaccine much easier to store
• Reduces the need for a cold chain.
• Represents a major step forward in the global campaign to control FMDV in countries where the disease is endemic
• Could significantly reduce the threat to countries currently free of the disease.
This new approach to making and stabilising vaccine could also impact on how viruses from the same family are fought, including polio.
5. BBSRC supporting impact from research institutes
: Exemplar - The Roslin Institute
BBSRC invests strategically in research programmes and capability at eight research institutes across the UK, and works with the institutes to maximise their impact.
Impact of the Roslin Institute 2011-12 (293 Staff, 142 post-grad students, £25.4M funding)
• Each year The Roslin Institute generates total economic benefit to the UK of over £320M GVA and supports 1,321 jobs
• For every £1 public funding The Roslin Institute generates £12.87 GVA for UK economy
• UK Animal Health Sector
• 6 spin-out companies:
£3.6M turnover; 48 staff
• 15 Biocentre tenants: £31.5M turnover; 226 staff
• 53 graduates p.a. : £9.8M p.a. additional lifetime earnings
• Agricultural Productivity
• £5.3M marginal increase generated by Roslin in 2011
• £247M total cumulative contribution by Roslin in 2011
6. Investing for the future: the Eight Great Technologies
BBSRC driving & supporting the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills strategies .
a. Agricultural Technology to be developed as a key part of the BBSRC major programme of UK Research and Innovation Campuses. £30M being invested in campus developments at
• £12M at Aberystwyth Innovation & Diffusion Campus:
• £8.2M at Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise
• £5M at The Easter Bush Campus, Edinburgh
• £2.5M at Norwich Research Park
b. Synthetic Biology for Growth. £50M programme led by BBSRC, delivery including:
• Up to six multi-disciplinary research centres, with EPSRC: allocation November
• SynBio Seed Fund: formal launch this week at HMT £10M invested by EPSRC, BBSRC and TSB in Innovation and Knowledge Centre at Imperial College, with 17 other universities and 13 industrial companies (including Microsoft, Shell and GSK.)
7. Investment in infrastructure
A major focus of BBSRC activity will overseeing and managing capital investment of more than
£200M investment in the growing programme of campus development, at Babraham, Norwich,
Pirbright, Edinburgh, Aberystwyth, and Rothamsted. In addition, £30M investment in UK research and innovation campuses:
• Aberystwyth Innovation & Diffusion Campus: BBSRC will invest up to £12M to help establish a world leading agri-innovation campus for food and renewable energy, with new infrastructure and facilities to attract companies and researchers interested in creating commercially viable new products, based on modern approaches to plant breeding. Contributions from others, including Aberystwyth University, expected to bring total investment over £35M. BBSRC has also earmarked up to £2.5M to develop the 'Pwllpeiran Upland Research Centre'
• Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise: up to £8.2M for a shared resources hub to
enable multidisciplinary interactions between industrial and academic scientists, including a
new communications and conference centre. Support from the Lawes Agricultural Trust and
potentially from other sources provide a total project investment of up to £25M
• The Easter Bush Campus: up to £5M towards an incubator building, to support the successful development of entrepreneurial companies and part of the Easter Bush Innovation Hub. The Scottish Government has also invested £10M in the Easter Bush Campus.
• Norwich Research Park: up to £2.5M towards a pilot facility for the development and
production of industrially relevant molecules in plants, building on work already underway at Norwich Research Park following a previous investment from BBSRC of £26M to help create and support new companies and jobs based on world-leading bioscience.