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2018: A year in review

Copyright: BBSRC

As 2018 draws to a close, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), reflects on the numerous discoveries made this year. One of the key milestones was met on 1 April 2018 when UK Research and Innovation launched, bringing together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

For BBSRC, the New Year kicked off with several farming conferences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting held in Austin, Texas. During the National Farmers Union conference in February, Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced £90 million for the agri-tech sector.

The spring season gave BBSRC a reason to celebrate their 10th annual Innovator of the Year competition followed by a summer of exciting announcements which included:

  • Researchers from University of Portsmouth develop a plastic eating enzyme
  • New generation of deodorants on the way
  • The Roslin Institute’s genetically engineered pigs resistant to costly virus
  • Helping to save the Koala: a conservation genome blueprint
  • Researchers to make bioplastics from straw and food waste
  • UK researchers create sustainable GM feed solution for farmed salmon

Just when BBSRC thought things couldn’t get any more exciting, researchers from University of Nottingham and University of Exeter planned to launch worms into space to study muscle loss. The launch is scheduled for 4 December 2018 from Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral.

BBSRC will continue to showcase more news and research projects through a digital advent calendar.

Join us from 1 December 2018 on our Christmas countdown with the BBSRC advent calendar.



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 £498 million in world-class bioscience in 2017-18. 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.

More information about UK Research and Innovation.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.

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