Typically, around 80% of Pirbright’s active grant funding at any one time involves some form of collaboration, highlighting our proactive approach to building links with other organisations and the complexity of modern science. These partnerships are driven chiefly through our already strong links with the UK academic community.
Through our close working with other BBSRC institutes, universities and veterinary schools, we produce and analyse joint data, which can only be obtained from the unique combination of scientific expertise and high containment facilities available at Pirbright.
UK academic collaborators will benefit from the Pirbright capability in the following ways:
- Access to the high containment facilities
Our facilities to handle high-consequence viral pathogens of livestock and study them within the natural host are not replicated elsewhere in the UK. Through Institute Strategic Programme (ISP) funded science and other significant external sources we will continue to collaborate with UK academics who wish to work on these viruses, but do not have the means to do so in their own institutions. In addition, we will explore extension of these opportunities to cover non-viral diseases of livestock requiring suitable in vivo facilities.
- Access to the low containment facilities
Our low containment in vivo facilities for studying endemic viral diseases within the avian host are not replicated elsewhere in the UK. We will continue to foster productive links with avian disease experts and other interested parties within the academic sector with the aim of maintaining and increasing collaborative science in this area. In addition, other academic beneficiaries with interests in host genomics and immunological resources will benefit both from direct collaboration and the publically accessible datasets provided both within Pirbright’s ISP and in externally funded grants.
- Access to materials; resources and expertise
We will continue to offer our unique material and intellectual resources to the scientific community, and also expand in these areas. Currently we supply a range of immunological reagents for poultry and livestock in both direct and indirect collaborations and also several lines of insects for research on vector-borne diseases. We will formalise our unique collection of immunological reagents and in collaboration with Roslin Institute, will provide an immunological toolbox for key livestock and avian species through National Capability for the first time. We will continue to employ and expand our bioimaging and next-generation sequencing capabilities, which are uniquely in high-containment. We will also formalise our extensive and diverse virus collections, which cover the majority of significant livestock viral diseases. Drawing on a wide range of expert knowledge related to capability in areas such as reference laboratories, health safety and biosafety and quality assurance, we will expand our offering in training, consultancy and expert advice.