Dr David Chiswell, Glyn Edwards awarded honors
Dr David Chiswell, former chairman of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to the bioscience industry. Glyn Edwards, deputy chairman of the BIA since 2000 and chief executive of Antisoma PLC, has also been awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to the bioscience industry. Dr David Chiswell held the post of chairman of BIA from January 2003 to December 2005.
Aisling Burnand, chief executive of the BIA, said, "In addition to their substantial work in ensuring the scientific and commercial success of the UK bioscience companies, both have given generously of their time to other initiatives of benefit for the sector as a whole, not least their roles on the Board of the BIA."
EPAA announces 3Rs program to accelerate research in animal testing
The European Partnership on Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) has announced details of its first action program, which aims to make significant progress in refining, reducing and replacing animal use (the '3Rs') in the areas of regulatory testing. The Partnership, an unprecedented collaboration between the European Commission and industry, has agreed upon 21 key activities that will be carried out over the next five years. These range from assimilating best research practice from across seven industry sectors, to the evaluation of the regulatory drivers for animal testing, and ultimately the validation and acceptance of alternative approaches to safety testing.
The overall program will be co-ordinated by the Partnership's steering committee co-chaired by Georgette Lalis from the European Commission and Colin Humphris representing European industry.
The action program is divided into the following five principal themes, which are interlinked and dependent upon one another: Evaluation of the regulatory drivers for animal use, map and evaluate past and current 3R activities, prioritize and implement research based on 3Rs, validate new and alternative test methods and strategies, and identify, disseminate and implement 3R best practice across the EU.
The five areas will be managed in an integrated fashion to ensure consistency. According to a release, an annual report from the Partnership on the implementation and impact of the action program will be published for the public. The first report on implementation should be available by December 2006. The program will be reviewed on a regular basis.
RIEC okays plans for 3 research sectors
The Research, Innovation & Enterprise Council, Singapore (RIEC) has approved three strategic research programs: Biomedical Sciences Phase II; Environmental and Water Technologies; and Interactive and Digital Media. These three sectors target to provide a total of 86,000 jobs with value added of $30 billion by 2015. These programs would be implemented over the next five years (2006-2010).
To build up a concentration of research talent to foster innovation and creativity, the RIEC also approved the concept to establish a Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE), and the proposal to set up the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre as the first centre within the Campus.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, chairman of the RIEC, said, "Singapore is committed to invest in R&D as a driver for economic growth and as a foundation for our long-term competitiveness. Our priorities are firstly, to build up core R&D capabilities in selected strategic areas, and secondly, to attract and develop a significant concentration of talent to sustain a critical mass of advanced research activity into the long term. The abundance of career opportunities in R&D will encourage more to pursue advanced higher education."
The RIEC approved the allocation of S$1.38 billion over the next five years to fund the development of the three strategic research program - Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Phase II - S$550 million, Environmental and Water Technologies (EWT) - S$330 million and Interactive and Digital Media (IDM) - S$500 million. The funds will be held in the National Research Fund administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF), which will oversee the implementation of programs approved by the RIEC.
The RIEC and National Research Foundation will continue to explore other emerging areas beyond these three programs; and opportunities for synergy and cross-disciplinary research at the interfaces between the three research areas.
"Industrial biotech plays key role for rural economic development"
"Industrial biotechnology is the enabling technology that allows us to convert crops to fuels, renewable chemicals and bio-based products of all sorts. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to seeing the industrial biotechnology sector used more and more widely throughout the manufacturing and energy sectors," said Thomas C Dorr, under secretary for rural development, US Department of Agriculture.
Addressing the third annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing at Toronto, Thomas Dorr said, "The US government is interested in industrial biotechnology for rural economic development, since it will play an important role in rural agricultural economies. As the biotechnology revolution rests squarely on agricultural feedstocks, this is also an extraordinary opportunity for American agriculture and, more broadly, for investment, growth, and wealth creation not just in rural America, but also in rural areas all across this globe."
Dorr further said, "From a rural development standpoint, sustainable development - investment, jobs, and wealth creation in rural communities - that is my goal. Biotechnology - in the form of biofuels and in the form of other bio-based products - offers rural America its largest new opportunity in history."
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization's (BIO) Industrial & Environmental Section, said, "Industrial biotechnology is being widely adopted throughout the US economy - in energy, chemicals, and manufacturing. In 2005 and 2006, it really came of age, driven by a 'perfect storm' of high energy prices, low energy security, developing market pull, and technological products reaching the market. These factors mean that industrial biotechnology has reached a tipping point and has become a mega-trend."