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BBSRC Seeks Comments on Long-term Plan

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) –The UK life sciences government funding agency is currently mapping the research areas it will focus on over the next five years, and now seeks input from interested stakeholders who want to comment on what should be its priorities.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has proposed three high-level strategic priorities for its 2010 and 2015 plans, including bioscience for health, bioenergy and biorenewables, and food security.

BBSRC also has proposed supporting these priorities with a number of underpinning themes, including integrative and systems biology, finding ways to use tools that generate large amounts of data, technologies and facilities, translation, innovation, and partnerships.

The council now wants to know if stakeholders believe that these three areas are the right ones for it to be focusing on.

"To find sustainable solutions to the challenges of the 21st Century the world is increasingly looking to bioscience," BBSRC CEO Douglas Kell said in a statement. "Avoiding a crisis in food security, delivering a sustainable bio-based green economy and helping people to enjoy long and healthy lives will require bioscience knowledge," he added.

"At the same time, huge amounts of data from modern approaches to science, new systems techniques, web 2.0 and semantic computing will provide new ways of working and opportunities for our scientists," Kell continued.

BBSRC funds internationally competitive research and it has institutes that conduct long-term research programs at the Babraham Institute, the Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, the John Innes Centre, and Rothamsted Research.

"At BBSRC we want to hear from all stakeholders about their views on the priorities we are proposing and the approaches we think will underpin them," Kell said.

More information about the BBSRC consultation is available at the council's website.

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