UKRI-BBSRC Review of technology development in the biosciences

Rachel Errington, Lucy Collinson, Karen Faulds, Neil Hall, Neil P Chue Hong, Bart Hoogenboom, Jasmeet Kaler, Kate Kemsley, Geeth de Mel, Dek Woolfson

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract / Description of output

Breakthrough technologies often create a big impact, highlighting the critical dependence of world-class transformative research and innovation on new
technologies becoming available.

In 2021, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) initiated a review of technology development in recognition of its crucial importance in the biosciences. The development of transformative technologies is integral in enabling future discoveries as it allows researchers to push the boundaries of bioscience discovery, stimulate innovation and enable better understanding of biological processes and organisms. Support for this area offers significant opportunities to work across disciplines and sectors, to improve on existing technologies and create new ones across the variety of science relevant to BBSRC’s mission.

The review found strong evidence for the pervasiveness of technology development across BBSRC’s portfolio, but also identified a range of challenges impacting the bioscience community.

An expert task and finish group was convened to help guide and advise BBSRC during the review process. In considering the evidence gathered from our community, 7 key recommendations that aim to support the continued expansion of technology development within the biosciences have been developed:

1. To enable support of the different types and stages of technology development, BBSRC should establish a comprehensive support framework, leading to an increase in investment
2. BBSRC should consider innovation in its peer review processes and fully embed technology development as a recognised and valuable component
3. BBSRC should prioritise short and long-term actions to support different training needs and career stages, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and innovator skill sets
4. BBSRC should work with the research technical professional community to highlight their talent and promote their central role in technology development in the biosciences
5. BBSRC should promote the value of diversity and team working in the biosciences and foster an open, dynamic, and inclusive system of technology development in the UK
6. BBSRC should consider mechanisms to bring together the technology development communities and facilitate interdisciplinary engagement
7. BBSRC should consider opportunities to support the underpinning infrastructure required for technology development
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022


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