Clean sweep for agriculture
Achim Doberman, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research, welcomed the white paper's focus on agriculture, and called for concerted action now so that UK can see the benefits of "Clean Growth" on the ground, and fast.
"We need to accelerate the excellent science we clearly have in the system," says Dobermann. "And we need to manage investment in a new way, so that it very quickly addresses the challenges in agriculture and we can position the UK well for the post-Brexit period.
He adds: "The UK needs a strong and competitive agricultural industry that is efficient, competitive and diverse, and farming that is sustainable – that's clean agricultural growth."
Angela Karp, Rothamsted's Director for Science Innovation, Engagement and Partnerships, emphasised that it is what we do with the UK's great science that matters.
"We need a dynamic, new model that focusses on the fuel that drives the engines of innovation," says Karp. "That means less time thinking about new buildings, and more on how we ensure the research we do is translated into impacts that benefit the UK; less time planning and reviewing, and more time on co-development and on 'lean' approaches, where innovation is tested through sharing and engagement, and either succeeds, or fails, fast."
Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future
About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the oldest agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices. Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of its economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK exceeds £3000 million a year (Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence, by Séan Rickard, 2015). Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships. Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform. We are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond. Funded by Government, BBSRC invested over £469M in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.