IBERS Scientist Highlighted for Contribution to UK Economy

Dr Daniel Thorogood

Dr Daniel Thorogood

25 June 2008

A scientist from IBERS, the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University, has been highlighted as one of the leading bioscience researchers contributing to the UK’s economic and social wellbeing.

Dr Daniel Thorogood's research which led to the development of a grass type that stays green in all conditions was highlighted at a recent event at HM Treasury, run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Dr Thorogood's research was based on studying the fundamental genetic basis of the breakdown of the green pigment in leaves, chlorophyll. His work was highlighted alongside the overall contribution of the former IGER's science – an estimated £40M a year worth of policy advice and products to the UK economy and policymakers.

The event, 'Bioscience:Biomillions', illustrated how the UK's excellent bioscience research base, principally funded by BBSRC with over £400M of public money each year, is delivering substantial economic and social impact. Other high impact bioscience research on show included work to understand and defeat hospital superbugs, research to understand ageing and to develop ways to encourage healthier ageing, and research to help farmers increase crop yields and to cope with a changing climate.

Participants in the event included researchers from IBERS and other bioscientists being highlighted for their contributions, dignitaries including Ian Pearson MP, the Minister of State for Science and Innovation, industry leaders, policy makers and leading academics.

Mr Pearson said: “Bioscience researchers in the UK have not only pursued excellent, world-class research, but they have also been active in ensuring that we all benefit from their efforts.

"In order to remain globally competitive and meet the future challenges of living within our environmental and population limits, it is vital that bioscience researchers continue to maximise the positive economic and social impacts of their research and activities."

Steve Visscher, BBSRC Interim Chief Executive, said: "The UK's world class bioscience research base underpins major economic and social sectors such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, food, healthcare and the environment. Our researchers are amongst the best in the world in terms of the quality of their science but they are also making huge contributions to quality of life for people through economic and social impact."

The event also highlighted the success of BBSRC initiatives such as the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme in developing the innovators of the future, and the Business Plan Competition in facilitating the birth of new companies.