The Pirbright Institute has unique core capabilities that have been developed over time and are key to our central science activities. The Pirbright Institute Capability consists of people, processes and technology for the specific purpose of delivery of the Institute's Science Vision and Strategy and is BBSRC-funded through the Core Capability Grant, which includes elements of the National Capability. A high level objective of this National Capability is to provide an international hub for best practise in high containment design, construction and maintenance and assist in validation and standardisation of approaches.
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 continue to expand our offering in training, consultancy and expert advice.
The Plowright Building and high containment facilities at Pirbright are internationally ground-breaking in both design and maintenance and the intellectual property encompassed is of high value to a wide range of public and privately funded bodies. In addition to architectural and engineering consultancy, we aim to make available, highly specialised expertise in risk and assurance, animal handling and welfare and scientific services such as bioimaging. This wide range of skills will enhance the study of viruses under containment substantially by standardising approaches in supporting science through specialised facilities materials and expertise.
Our core capability also provides an emergency response capacity in the event of an exotic virus outbreak in the UK and a capability to respond to challenges from novel viruses of livestock. This capability is provided at both a national (Defra
) and international (EU, FAO
) level, employing state-of-the-art diagnostic and surveillance services, together with advice on vaccination, surveillance, animal movements and insect vectors. This will enable informed decisions and effective control actions to be taken rapidly by HMG, so that disease emergencies are dealt with effectively, allowing the UK to trade animals and animal-derived products internationally. Our high containment facilities have been directly used for vaccine testing by two national governments.
We provide extensive consultancy and research services to the animal health industry, for example sharing our expertise and knowledge in avian vaccinology. We will continue to extend our relationships with vaccine manufacturers, as exemplified by a major framework agreement with a major animal health company regarding the use of our high-containment in vivo facilities. Various companies have initiated strategic partnership discussions with Pirbright for use of our expertise and unique facilities.
Community interest in this area has never been higher due to the emergence and re-emergence of viral pathogens worldwide and the impact that these have in sustainable food production and human health. While access to the Pirbright site is limited due to our biosecurity requirements, we will continue to organise outreach activities to demonstrate the value of Pirbright as a publically funded institute in the UK. Provision of these activities will be driven by press releases and dedicated online approaches included publically accessible information on animal welfare and high containment facilities in particular.
For further information please contact Lizelle Gouverneur, Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Manager:
The Pirbright Institute