Friday 1 March 2019

BGS Annual Review 2017-2018

I am pleased to be able to present the BGS Annual Review for the last financial year 2017-2018.

Although not exhaustive, the review highlights activities within BGS. As a world-leading, global geological survey, we have an extensive programme of geoscience research, survey and monitoring, data management and dissemination. This helps us to focus on public-good science and to understand and predict the geological processes that matter to people’s lives.

Increasingly, our work is being carried out internationally and is directed towards issues such as helping developing countries realise sustainable benefits from their natural resources. Most recently we have been using geoscience to help provide solutions to the major challenges recognised in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are critical to underpinning global economic development. Many of these challenges, including food and water security, urbanisation, energy poverty, resilience to natural hazards and climate change, span the interface between the Earth and human systems.

On an administrative level we have created a BGS Board, chaired by Sir Keith O’Nions and comprised of highly influential individuals .   BGS has also created a new Science Advisory Committee chaired by Professor Frances Wall and comprising a cross section of scientist from government industry and academia. The board and the committee will allow us to realise our full potential going forwards and help us deliver the new BGS Science Strategy which will be launched in June this year.

BGS reported a financial surplus from commercial income in 2017-18 which will invested by NERC UKRI for future year’s activities. Our staff numbers increased to 640 people at the end of the financial year in 2018 and our consolidated budget was £62.6 million for the period.

In addition to ensuring high-quality geoscience data is openly available to stakeholders across the UK, as outlined in the review, BGS made significant investments in Official Development Assistance funding in three global platforms all linked to the UN sustainability goals. BGS also started planning for its investment of £38.5 million in UKGEOS, a unique set of subsurface boreholes and associate geo-science aimed at future energy systems, which will help provide important information for UK and global decarbonisation initiatives.

I do hope this Annual Science Review provides you with a flavour of the Public Science Role of BGS and our research and commercial activities, all three of which contribute to our success as a world-leading geoscience institution.