Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 94

Climate Change Joint Programming Initiative.
The BBSRC has offered an in-cash and in-kind
commitment by co-leading this programme
with the French National Institute for
Agricultural Research.
Innovative technologies are key to agriculture
and food security, and Horizon 2020 will foster
interdisciplinarity and the use of technologies
that we see in other areas of bioscience being
applied to agriculture. Targeted Horizon 2020
funding can bring together a combination of
technologies and disciplines across Europe that
can be applied to areas such as crop and
livestock/poultry production and that will
integrate new research ideas with innovation,
application and impact.
The EU framework programme can also play a
catalytic role for the networking of national
research facilities, both in nascent and
advanced research infrastructure communities.
It is critical to achieve this goal in the agriculture
and food security sector as it currently lags
behind biomedical infrastructures.
Recent changes in EU regulations around GM
crops suggest that innovations in this field will
play an important part in Europe’s agricultural
future. There is a need for agriculture to
produce more output with less input, and to do
so sustainably within social, political, economic
and environmental circumstances. While we
must guard against the notion of a simple
‘technological fix’ to the many challenges
facing agriculture, the benefits of current and
emerging technologies, where they can
contribute effectively, should not be ignored.
The next few years will be an exciting time for
bioscience as the sector offers more
sustainable solutions for the future. Just as we
have witnessed huge advances in computing
and other technologies, the bioscience
revolution will also have a major impact.
Strategic and capital funding to five research and innovation campuses
also makes a key contribution to the UK innovation ecosystem, in both
IB and other areas. This helps to ensure that research makes a variety
of important impacts to the UK. This enables economic growth and
contributes to interactions with important international trading partners,
supporting key economic sectors.
Another successful scheme that helps to commercialise research is the
BBSRC Enterprise Fellowships, delivered by the Royal Society of
Edinburgh (RSE). These are designed to encourage the development of
a new business building on previously funded BBSRC research. The
commercialisation of the technology behind C4X Discovery, focused on
the optimisation of drug discovery and design, is an excellent example
of these fellowships in action. With the support of two Follow-on Fund
awards and a BBSRC/RSE Enterprise Fellowship, academics have made
rapid progress towards commercialisation and have formed the spin-out
company C4X Discovery to exploit the technology. Seed funding for the
spin-out has been raised from Aquarius Equity Partners.
Routes to commercialisation can be rewarding, and the BBSRC offers
competitions under the ‘Fostering Innovation’ banner that recognise
individual and team efforts to take research out of the lab and into
society. There is also the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme,
which raises awareness of the commercialisation of ideas from the
biosciences via an innovative competition for postgraduate and
postdoctoral scientists.
Horizon 2020
Yet societal impact is not just about commercialisation, and the
bioeconomy does not only revolve around IB and bioenergy; food security
and agricultural innovations also play a big part in the BBSRC’s portfolio.
It is important to recognise the role of global efforts and research
programmes, such as Horizon 2020, acknowledging the huge challenge
of food security and sustainable agriculture, as well as the potential
solutions that society can offer. The BBSRC is actively involved at a
European level through its role in the Agriculture, Food Security and
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
Professor Jackie Hunter
Biotechnology and Biological
Sciences Research Council
United Kingdom
B R OW S E
H O R I Z O N
2 0 2 0
94
B I O T E C H N O L O G Y
With the French
National Institute for
Agricultural Research,
the BBSRC is jointly
leading the
Agriculture, Food
Security and Climate
Change JPI
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