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£17.7M for Major Long-Term Research Projects to Harness the Power of Bioscience

Published: Monday, December 16, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013
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Research for agriculture, health, alternatives to fossil fuels, and new commercial products.

BBSRC has funded six long-term projects with the potential to make significant impacts in agriculture, health, alternatives to fossil fuels, and using biology to produce important commercial products.

The awards are funded through BBSRC's strategic longer and larger grants (sLoLaS), which give world leading teams the time and resources to address areas of key strategic importance. The projects were chosen based on their scientific excellence; because they required long timescales, extensive resources and/or multidisciplinary approaches; and they involve internationally leading research teams.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC's Chief Executive, said: "This public funding offers long-term support to address major research challenges, while building research capacity in important areas and maximising economic and social benefits for the UK."

"The vital knowledge generated by this research will help to address the threat of farmed-animal diseases, the health of an ageing population, and the need for more sustainable industries and energy sources."

The projects include:

University of York's Centre for Novel Agricultural Products
•    BBSRC-HGCA Black Grass Project - Research to tackle the major crop weed 'black grass'
•    BBSRC Marine Wood Borer Enzyme Programme - Producing liquid fuel from waste wood
•    BBSRC Renewable Industrial Products from Rapeseed (RIPR) Programme - Extracting useful products from rapeseed

The Pirbright Institute

•    BBSRC Swine Flu Dynamics Project - Understanding swine flu transmission

University College London

•    BBSRC Algal Biotechnology Platform for Designer Lipids - More sustainable production of useful molecules, including biofuels, bulk chemicals and high value products

The University of Manchester

•    BBSRC Drosophila Developmental Interactome Project - Using the fruit fly as a model to help us understand how we develop

All of the projects involve collaborations with partners from other UK institutions, including: BBSRC- funded institutes (Rothamsted Research, the Institute of Food Research and The Genome Analysis Centre); Home Grown Cereals Authority (part of AHDB); the Food and Environment Research Agency; the Animal Health/Veterinary Laboratory Agency Weybridge; and the Universities of Aberdeen, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield and York.

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