Investigation into science capability required to underpin animal and plant health, published by Defra

Government chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport and Defra chief scientific adviser Professor Ian Boyd have undertaken a study to determine the UK's future needs for science capability to underpin animal and plant health during the next 10-15 years.

Sir Mark Walport
Sir Mark Walport
The study was guided by a Steering Group of representatives from UK Government, the Devolved Administrations, Research Councils and experts from industry and academia, and it involved a programme of interviews and workshops with a range of experts from across the animal and plant health landscape.

Their report found that while the UK science capability to predict, detect and respond to these diseases is strong, it can be made more effective and efficient through a strengthened partnership.

The report makes two main recommendations:

1: Establish a new 'UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health'.

This new science partnership made up from UK Government, the Devolved Administrations, academia and industry, will set the overarching strategic direction and priorities for animal and plant health science and encourage an improved culture of coordination, collaboration and sharing of good practice.

2: To deliver rapid progress, the project Steering Group should become an interim Implementation Group to drive forward immediate work on priority actions as the first step in progress towards a new UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health.

The study has already created a programme of activity around these priority actions, including work to develop a UK level strategy for animal and plant health science. Over the coming months, the Implementation Group, chaired by Sir Mark Walport, will continue to work with experts from across the animal and plant health landscape to help deliver these priority actions.


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