British Science Week: celebrating success!
We’re home to a range of science organisations that are at the forefront of the industry. From making world-first discoveries in medicine and agri-tech, to launching new products that will help make our world a better place, their achievements are instrumental in helping to improve our environment, health, and so much more.
So, to mark British Science Week (10th – 19th March), a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, we’ve rounded up some of our occupiers’ recent accomplishments…
In the last year, Fera Science has continued its pioneering contribution across the whole food sector. Fera showcases its latest work in their Science Strategy Annual Report, which describes how Fera is delivering world leading science discovery to help solve global food challenges.
The recent launch of its new £1m Insect Research Laboratory, which opened at YBC last year, the Enigma R&D Programme and LAND360 services are just some examples of how the Fera team has collaboratively worked together to achieve its goal of delivering sustainable food systems fit for the future.
To top the year off, Fera’s efforts were recognised at the York Press Business Awards in November, where it won the Business Innovation of the Year category and was also successful in scooping the top spot with its Press Business of the Year 2022 award win.
Best-known for its immunodiagnostics work over the last 20 years in developing and manufacturing high-quality lateral flow tests, most recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Abingdon Health has successfully transitioned its core activities this year to become a fully integrated Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO). This means its operations have grown to include lateral flow testing research, development, optimisation and manufacturing across a range of diagnostics areas, including human, veterinary, plant, environmental health, and security sectors.
Exciting recent launches include the Abingdon Simply Test brand, a one-stop online shop for rapid home use self-tests, aimed at the general public to support its mission to ‘improve life by making rapid testing accessible to all’. Abingdon will soon be launching, to the UK and Ireland, the world’s first-ever saliva-based pregnancy test, SalistickTM, through its partnership with Salignostics.
Finally, they’re most proud to be actively promoting equality and creating opportunities for women to grow their careers in STEM and manufacturing. Abingdon’s workforce is now made up of over 65% women, including over 56% in leadership positions.
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
APHA works to safeguard animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy. As part of its ‘Don’t risk it’ campaign, it designed an exhibit for the CHS Chelsea Flower Show warning travellers of the risks of bringing plants home from their holidays. APHA was given a gold award and commended for its clear science communication and a creative and interactive exhibit.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which APHA is part of, also hosted the first International Plant Health conference with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat in September. The event was centred around discussing new and emerging plant health challenges, including climate change impacts.
University of York
We’ve recently welcomed a group of scientists from the University of York to the campus, who have taken space to conduct research that aims to control mosquito-borne disease. Diseases that are transmitted by insects such as mosquitos and ticks represent 17% of all infectious diseases worldwide, and very few have effective vaccines, so the university’s research is vital to finding solutions.
One of the biggest achievements from the research so far has been developing a system that makes mosquitoes less able to transmit the Zika virus. If the system is deployed in a wild mosquito population, the mosquitos would look and behave as normal, but they wouldn’t be able to transmit the virus. It’s still early days in terms of any potential field impact, but the results could be very exciting!
To find out about the organisations based on our campus, please visit here.