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Stackyard News Feb 2010

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    New Strategy Will help Scientists Meet Global Challenges

Global challenges such as sustainably increasing food production and ensuring the health of an ageing population will be addressed by The Roslin Institute as part of a new research strategy.

Professor David Hume,
Director of The Roslin Institute

Professor David Hume

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has named The Roslin Institute as one of eight research institutes highlighted in its strategic plan for providing critical national UK capability and expertise.

The BBSRC has stated that these institutes are central to its vision and priorities.

The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh will receive key funding from the UK’s leading bioscience agency over the next five years.

The Roslin Institute is internationally renowned for its work on the health and welfare of animals, which has implications for human and veterinary medicine. Its research also focuses on the livestock industry and food security, to provide a sustainable supply of food for a growing global population.

The Institute will contribute to the delivery of the BBSRC research priorities of food security and using bioscience to improve health in light of challenges faced as a result of an ageing population.

The BBSRC also cites bioenergy and industrial biotechnology as a key factor in creating a low-carbon economy. This is a key priority under its strategic plan The Age of Bioscience for 2010-2015.

Professor David Hume, Director of The Roslin Institute, said: “Research undertaken at The Roslin Institute is very much key to BBSRC’s priorities of ensuring sustainable food production and basic bioscience underpinning health. In the modern age where the world’s population is increasing it is vital that research such as ours discovers new ways of increasing food production and improving the health of an ageing population.”

The BBSRC funds scientific research across Scotland through single project grants but The Roslin Institute is the only Scottish research organisation to benefit from funding under its strategic plan.

The Roslin Institute is already carrying out a number of research projects through a £40 million five year core-funding BBSRC grant, which runs until 2012.

The funding has enabled the Institute, which is due in 2011 to move into a £60 million building majority funded by BBSRC, to undertake research aimed at improving animal and human health. This includes research encompassing genomics, stem cells and transgenic technologies.

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: “The Roslin Institute is one of the eight institutes that BBSRC provides strategic core funding to. UK bioscience is world-class and well placed in the coming years to deliver science that will make a significant contribution to all our lives. The Institutes provide critical capacity and capabilities to the UK that are not found elsewhere. We believe they are central to our vision and to achieve our priorities.”

The BBSRC Strategic plan revolves around the eight Institutes that receive Strategic Programme Grant funding; The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research, The Genome Analysis Centre, The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh and Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at the University of Aberystwyth.

The Roslin Institute is uniquely-placed in the field of Animal Sciences through its incorporation with the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the leading Vet School in the UK in the 2008 research and assessment exercise.

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