External events

Time line of external events

  • The Lawes Agricultural Trust founded
    by Sir John Bennett Lawes FRS
  • The National Fruit and Cider Institute Long Ashton founded
    by apple growers
  • The Medical Research Council established
  • The Agricultural Research Council set up by Royal Charter.
    Role - to give scientific and technical advice to government.
    Control of research institutes remains with their funding source - the Development Commission, and Departments of Agriculture.
  • First ARC institute
    (ARC Field Station, Compton)
  • Watson and Crick propose the structure of DNA
  • State agricultural research reorganized.
    Responsibility for funding research institutes in England and Wales transferred from MAFF to ARC.
  • Food mountains and wine lakes
  • ARC's income peaks.
    Its income declines from now onwards, for the next 15 years
  • MAFF gets its revenge.
    55% of ARC's annual grant transferred to MAFF.
    MAFF now operates as a proxy customer and commissions work from the ARC (customer-contractor principle).
early 1980's
  • "ARC attempts to cut back in some overfunded areas, notably horticultural research"
    (Jamieson B.G. (1994) Encyclopedia of Agricultural Science Vol 1 pp 303-313)
  • ARC renames itself AFRC
  • AFRC publishes "Forward Policy".
    20 institutes reorganised into eight new ones.
    AFRC's grants to universities increased eight fold from 1983 to 1993.
    Funds to institutes reduced.
    Over the same period, MAFF funding also reduced
    from USD 125 million (1984) to USD 50 million (1994) [adjusted to 1993 prices].
    Between 1984 and 1994 the number of staff at AFRC institutes fell by 45%.
  • AFRC's mission revised
    Mission is now to "exploit advances in science and engineering to provide new and environmentally beneficial options for changing land use and for increasing the value added to agricultural production.
  • More food mountains and wine lakes
  • Government policy change
    - Withdraw public funding from applied and from near-market research.
  • Government White Paper
    "Realising Our Potential: A Strategy for Science, Engineering and Technology" (Command 2250, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London).
    Objective - wealth creation through investment in basic and strategic research
March 1994
  • AFRC wound up.
    Its responsibilities transferred to the new BBSRC, one of six new councils created by the government reorganization of research councils.
    Objective - to increase the UK's industrial competitiveness and to improve the quality of life.
    The budget of the new BBSRC is USD 180 million from the former AFRC, plus USD 75 million transferred from the former SERC.
    Key objectives for the new Council are to "build on the UK's strong position in biological science and to provide options for strategic and applied research"
December 2000
  • House of Commons Select Committee on Agriculture
    The Agriculture Committee meets, and publishes a Report:- HORTICULTURE RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL The process of change at HRI is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Its restructuring programme means that it should be a very different organisation in twelve months time. As it changes, it is imperative that HRI focus on its remit and the requirements of its customers and that it become more responsive to change in the availability of public sector funding. See also the Press Notice
23 September 2002
  • Defra Quinquennial Review of Horticulture Research International
    (Copies were available at Defra website but no longer)
    HRI was unviable as currently constituted, and costs should be reduced, sites rationalised, and a new business plan put in place.
    After the review was published, Defra invited comments (Defra Press Release 373/02, 23 September 2002.)
    Having considered the comments, Defra published an addendum to its review (also disappeared from the Defra website). Change of plan - instead of recommending that existing links with the University of Warwick should be "maintained, with merger being considered in the medium-to-longer term", now it recommended that "discussions [about a merger] are conducted between HRI and Warwick as soon as possible with a view to seeking the best outcome for the future of HRI in the shorter term". .
June 2003
  • House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
    Whilst there are a number of detailed concerns, support for the findings of the quinquennial review, as modified in the addendum, appears to be strong and widespread. In particular the prospect of a merger between "new HRI" and the University of Warwick presents opportunities for synergies between the expertise of HRI and the established academic and business abilities of the University.
    It is therefore disappointing that more progress has not yet been mad
  • Transferred to the University
    On the 1 April 2004 control of the company transferred to the University of Warwick. Defra will transfer its freeholds of the Wellesbourne and Kirton sites to the University.

    The University will make a financial contribution to the transfer of the sites equal to the values of the agricultural land and dwellings at Wellesbourne ( UKP .5 million) and Kirton ( UKP 2.5 thousand) as at 5 January 2004

    The University will undertake for a period of 15 years (Wellesbourne) or 20 years (Kirton) to pay a share of the proceeds to Defra should it subsquently decide to sell all or part of the Wellesbourne or Kirton sites or to undertake commercial development there ...

    More on the Reports and accounts page
  • UKP 1 for the business and assets
    Freehold land and buildings, valuation UKP 40 million, transferred from the HRI company to the University of Warwick for a consideration of UKP 1
  • Deficit for the financial year
    Deficit for the financial year was $3.78 million
13 January 2010
  • Job advert
    "The University of Warwick has established a School of Life Sciences integrating the existing departments of Biological Sciences and Warwick HRI.
    "The formation of the new School is a vital step towards the achievement of the University's vision to become a world leader in the Life Sciences, ... The new School will provide a focus for inter-disciplinary research and teaching across the wider life sciences (sic) at Warwick.
    "The University now seeks to appoint a Head of the School of Life Sciences to lead this exciting initiative.

There is also a Time line for NVRS
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