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UK Invests $29.8M in Genome Analysis Centre as Part of Broader $392M Bioscience Investment

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council will invest £19 million ($29.8 million) in the Genome Analysis Center at the Norwich Research Park in the UK as part of a broader, five-year £250 million ($392 million) investment in the biosciences.

TGAC will use its investment to deploy the latest next-gen sequencing instruments and bioinformatics tools, as well as to support the development of new approaches for data storage and handling.

As part of the larger investment, the John Innes Centre, which focuses on plant science and microbiology, will receive £42 million, and the Institute of Food Research will receive £29 million, both also in the Norwich Research Park. In addition, the Roslin Institute in Scotland will receive £23 million, the Babraham Institute in Cambridge will get £37 million, Rothamsted Research will receive £41 million, the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright will receive £38 million, and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University will get £13 million.

"This £250 million investment from BBSRC for the first phase of major five-year research programmes will sustain excellent science at some of the UK's leading institutes and universities," Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said in a BBSRC statement. "This will drive growth, support highly skilled jobs and keep the UK at the very forefront of bioscience, with benefits ranging from healthcare to energy and global food security."

Among the efforts being funded under this investment are livestock animal genomics at the Roslin Institute, scientifically important long-term experiments in agriculture and environmental research at Rothamsted Research, and a crop phenotyping center at IBERS.

"The greatest challenges the world faces, including food security, climate change, loss of biodiversity, the aging population and disease, can all ultimately be addressed through biology-based research," Mark Downs, chief executive of the Society of Biology, said in the statement. "Funding that research is critical to meeting these challenges."