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UK endows £250m to life sciences
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UK endows £250m to life sciences

25.05.2012 - With the aim to maintain its status one of the global leading life sciences nations, the UK has set up a large funding initiative.

London – Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced that £250M has been allocated for the first phase of several five year strategic investment programmes. This includes 26 strategic science programmes and 14 key national research capabilities, to be delivered by eight of the UK's world-leading bioscience research institutes and their university partners. The process will be led by Britain's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). 

Commenting on the funding, Willetts said: "This investment will sustain excellent science at some of the UK's leading institutes and universities. 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." The plan is thought to help the UK to meet challenges such as sustainably feeding the growing world population, finding alternatives to dwindling fossil fuels and supporting an ageing society to remain healthy for longer.  

The Minister made the announcement in a speech during a visit at the Babraham Research Campus. The campus, a BBSRC National Research and Innovation Campus, is one of the privileged institutes and will receive £37M. Others are the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University (£13M), the Genome Analysis Centre in Norwich (£19M), the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh (£23M), the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright (£38M), the Institute of Food Research in Norwich (£29M), the John Innes Centre in Norwich (£42M) and the Rothamsted Research in Harpenden (£41M).

The initiative complements a funding programme aimed to boost translational medicine, that was announced in April.

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