UK: PhenomUK, UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap Progress Report and International Research and Innovation Strategy
The national phenotyping network PhenomUK was formally launched in February 2019 with first projects to start in autumn. In other news, phenotyping is highlighted as a key emerging theme in the UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap Progress Report, and the UK reaffirms its commitment to a strong research partnership with Europe in its International Research and Innovation Strategy.
PhenomUK: First Projects to Start in Autumn
The national phenotyping network PhenomUK builds on advances in fundamental engineering and physical sciences, bringing the necessary disciplines into closer contact and promoting an integrated, holistic view of the phenotyping process across the UK.
PhenomUK was formally launched at a one-day meeting at Rothamsted Research in February 2019. PhenomUK is led by Tony Pridmore (University of Nottingham) and Malcolm Hawkesford (Rothamsted Research). The launch event included an overview of the goals and intentions of the TTL project, with a UKRI perspective provided by BBSRC. A short series of brief technical talks provided academic context, but the bulk of the day was given over to discussion within the community of what felt PhenomUK’s role should be and what services it should provide. Some 50 delegates attended the launch meeting, and the discussion was very productive.
Work on the establishment of PhenomUK began in mid-September 2018, with the appointment of the Network Manager, Ms Claire Hayes. Initial effort focussed on branding the network, designing and implementing an appropriate network website and social media accounts. A membership recruitment drive was then initiated using these tools and existing phenotyping mailing lists, websites, etc. PhenomUK’s membership currently stands at around 120 individual scientists from a variety of disciplines. The (also multidisciplinary) Management Board was established and to date has met twice.
Open calls for Workshop and Networking visit proposals were released soon after the launch and the first call for proposals for pilot projects was made in spring 2019. Submission closed on 12 July, with 13 proposals being put forward. They are now being reviewed by Management Board members with a view to the first projects starting in autumn 2019.
Phenotyping Highlighted as Key Emerging Theme in UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap Progress Report
The objective of the UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap is to create a long-term (until approximately 2030) research and innovation infrastructure roadmap, based on an understanding of existing UK infrastructure (and key international facilities in which the UK participates), future needs (research, economic and social), and resulting investment priorities.
The progress report identifies emerging themes and areas of potential capability across the sector topics that could be addressed by research and innovation infrastructures. The progress report aims to present a summary of the work to date to help facilitate further discussions and feedback in the final phase of the programme. This is not the final roadmap and presents a work in progress which will feed into the First Edition Roadmap Report.
Phenotyping is cited as a key emerging theme in the UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap Progress Report. Furthermore, improving sustainability and resilience of agriculture, plant health, precision agriculture, and smart technologies are key objectives of the UKRI-BBSRC Forward Look for UK Bioscience.
UK Reaffirms Commitment to Strong Research Partnership with Europe
UK science has a strong track record of international collaboration; from bilateral initiatives to multilateral engagement. The UK government recently published its International Research and Innovation Strategy which reaffirms the commitment to pursue a far-reaching relationship with Europe, on science, research, and innovation.
The International Research and Innovation Strategy sets out how the UK will develop its international research and innovation partnerships to address global challenges and help achieve the targets in our modern Industrial Strategy.
Read more about the work of the UK Science and Innovation Network and its role in building international partnerships and collaborations on science and innovation.