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Network Spring 2016: Chief Executive's comment

The Government continues to provide excellent support for UK research from the science and research budget, recognising the value of investment in research and the role it can play in international development. We are working individually, and collectively with the other research councils, to fully understand the implications and opportunities from the allocations, and will publish our delivery plans soon.

At the MRC we strive to identify and encourage exciting science, and bring different cultures together to form strong collaborations. We recently strengthened our commitment through £23.2m in new funding, announced by Science Minister Jo Johnson, to take pioneering ideas from UK universities into industry and out into healthcare.

I am pleased that this funding is made up of three different MRC initiatives, set up specifically to target different innovation needs (see page 3). The early outcomes of awards made under these schemes are promising, showing that through devolved decision-making, UK researchers have exploited the flexibility and collaborative potential of these innovative schemes.

Working together is also particularly important in the context of tackling the health risks posed by the Zika virus. We received an excellent response from the community to our Rapid Response Initiative, through which we have awarded £3.2m to 26 projects working in partnership with BIS colleagues, responsible for the Newton Fund, and the Wellcome Trust (see page 4).

I encourage researchers to continue to maximise all collaboration opportunities and bring expertise together to deliver patient benefit.

 

John Savill

MRC Chief Executive