- Pirbright to receive £90 million from BBSRC over five years
- BBSRC total five year investment of £376 million goes to seven of its institutes
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has announced a new portfolio of strategically important funding that will significantly enhance the UK’s capability to deliver world-leading research with socio-economic impact.
This leading-edge research will be supported by £376 million funding from BBSRC over the next five years, of which The Pirbright Institute will receive £90 million.
The long-term investment in Pirbright will enable the discovery, development, and translation of bio-based solutions to address major global challenges.
The funding secures ongoing research in two key strategic programmes. One focusses on the Virus Life Cycles at Multiple Scales, investigating how virus-host interactions control species-specific pathology and how viruses overcome barriers to species jumping. It also aims to improve our understanding of how viruses are transmitted, including studies to predict large scale disease spread, zoonotic potential, and the impact of climate change on transmission. It provides an international hub for veterinary, zoonotic and ‘One Health’ studies of viral disease.
The second key strategic programme Host Responses to Viral Infection addresses an urgent scientific need to better understand why host responses to viral infection can lead to disease with little protection. In addition, natural host systems using high consequence viruses will help provide fundamental insights into the basic mechanisms of cell, organ, and whole animal function that will have broad impacts on reducing the burden of pathogens for livestock and humans. This programme is aiding the improvement of vaccine efficacy while developing a more complete understanding of vaccine platform applicability across hosts.
Funding has also been allocated to Pirbright’s Core Capability Grant and Institute Development Grant, both which are building a robust infrastructure of people, knowledge and facilities aligning with BBSRC’s institute strategy and which contribute to the UK’s ability to provide solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing society.
Professor Bryan Charleston, Director and CEO of The Pirbright Institute said "We are delighted to have secured funding from BBSRC for the next five years, allowing us to pursue our research and make substantial contributions to address global social challenges. This investment reaffirms our commitment to advancing knowledge and finding innovative solutions with our many collaborators, that can positively impact the world.”
Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair at BBSRC, said “BBSRC’s strategically supported institutes are a vital component of the national and international bioscience research and innovation ecosystem. As experts in their fields, these world-class research institutes provide the UK with the capability and connectivity needed to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the bioscience revolution.
“The investment BBSRC is making in its strategically supported institutes over the next five years will help deliver novel bio-based solutions to some of the greatest challenges we face as a society.
“Bioscience shapes our lives in so many different ways and as the UK’s major public funder of bioscience research and innovation, it is mission critical that BBSRC invests in world-class science that delivers benefits to society as a whole while driving economic growth and prosperity across the UK and beyond.”
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Notes to Editors
About The Pirbright Institute
The Pirbright Institute is a world leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans. Based in the UK and receiving strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Institute works to enhance capability to contain, control and eliminate these economically and medically important diseases through highly innovative fundamental and applied bioscience.
The Institute is an independent company, limited by guarantee and a registered charity, governed by a Board of non-executive Trustee Directors.
With an annual income of £37 million from grants and commercial activity, and a total of £43.7 million strategic investment from BBSRC UKRI during 2021-2022, the Institute contributes to global food security and health, improving quality of life for animals and people.
For more information about The Pirbright Institute see: www.pirbright.ac.uk
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
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 £451 million in world-class bioscience in 2019-20. 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.