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Over £30M Investment to Drive Economic Growth from UK Agri-Science

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts has announced over £30M of investment in the latest boost for UK research and innovation campuses.

The announcement was made by the minister during the launch of the Government's Agri-Technology Strategy. The new investment, from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), is aimed at creating an environment on each campus where unique facilities and world-leading agri-science can be accessed by private enterprise.

The BBSRC investment will see new facilities created across the UK in four different campuses, at some of Britain's most renowned and well-known agricultural research institutes. The investment projects will facilitate economic growth, job creation and wellbeing by nurturing innovation and the translation of excellent agri-science into real life applications.

The BBSRC funding is for the development of UK research and innovation campuses at Easter Bush (Edinburgh), Aberystwyth and Rothamsted (Hertfordshire). Funding has also been provided to further develop the Norwich Research Park. Each campus is centred on a critical mass of world-leading bioscience, strategically supported by BBSRC, providing a unique environment where growing bioscience-based companies can access specialist facilities and exchange ideas with leading researchers.

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said: "Britain has the potential to be world-leading in agricultural science and technology, yet our productivity growth has dropped significantly in the past 30 years. These leading edge campuses will help reverse that trend by getting our researchers and businesses working together to commercialise their ideas. This is vital for our economy and future food security which is why we are launching the Agri-Technology Strategy."

BBSRC Chief Executive, Professor Douglas Kell, said: "Research and innovation campuses are hot spots - for world-class research, training, facilities, infrastructure and innovation. BBSRC investment in the campuses, alongside our partners, provides the means for start-up companies, SMEs and industrial partners to access our science and equipment and to forge links with researchers and other companies. Through building unique environments at each campus we are supporting research institutes and private enterprise to grow companies and generate new jobs."

"This latest round of investment builds on successful campus projects, worth £70M, at the Babraham Research Campus and a first phase at the Norwich Research Park. Substantial previous investment at the Pirbright Institute is also creating the potential for future campus-type developments there as well.

"I am pleased that on the day the Government launches the Agri-Tech Strategy that we are able to invest in campuses associated with some of our leading agricultural research institutes - Rothamsted Research, The Roslin Institute at Easter Bush, IBERS at Aberystwyth and the John Innes Centre and the Institute of Food Research at Norwich."

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