Tuesday, 1 May 2018

BGS enters a new era

BGS is about to enter a new era. It is moving from NERC as its legal owner to the newly created UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and has created a BGS board that will function as if BGS is an arms length GovCo. The intention of this is to put BGS into the most appropriate governance structure so that it will flourish. 

Following the nomination of Sir Keith O’Nions as Board chair, BGS now has a board whose membership covers the spectrum from survey, academia, government and industry. The board will engage with the BGS executive in deciding how best to place BGS in the mix from government advice underpinned by research, innovation and also niche commercial activities. 

BGS will work closely with NERC still, although its public good activities will be overseen by the Board and independent review. We will operate the Earth sector facilities for NERC and will continue to engage with key partnerships with university departments in the earth and environment sector. 

The opportunity to operate in the new UKRI environment will allow synergies with other research council agendas and also with InnovateUK and play a role in the UK industrial strategy and global programmes led from UKRI. 

BGS finished the past financial year with a planned surplus and an increase in staff numbers to ~ 640. Here is the summary corporate PowerPoint that I presented to the first BGS Board meeting on Friday 27th April.