The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the UK’s principal public funder of basic bioscience research, is set to use business process management software from North Carolina-based Ultimus as part of a plan to improve the provision of its grants for educational research.
BBSRC, a non-departmental public body, supports research and research training in universities and research institutes throughout the UK and invests approximately GBP 336 million per annum in some of the most exciting areas of contemporary science, including genomics, stem cell biology and bionanotechnology.
The agency hopes that the Ultimus software will help it to increase the frequency of its grant application rounds and allocate funding to research scientists more efficiently.
The traditional way of conducting grant application processes at BBSRC was through paper forms, which caused lost time while forms moved from desk to desk. BBSRC needed an automated BPM system that could handle grant application processes – which involve numerous administrative and evaluative tasks – more efficiently.
After automating our processes with the help of the Ultimus BPM Suite, BBSRC abandoned paper forms, thus eliminating the problems and potential errors associated with them, said Clare Lindsay, project manager for the Ultimus project at BBSRC.
Research grant applications from research scientists are made to BBSRC and are subject to a peer review process, which enables BBSRC to decide which applications are of the highest quality and which will receive funding.
Ultimus said that it was selected by the BBSRC because of its ability to handle more than the required 6000 applications within a 12 month period.
Organizations such as BBSRC are increasingly looking to BPM not only as a solution to specific, immediate process improvement objectives, but as a platform that gives them the ability to tackle diverse process improvement initiatives, said Steve Allen, Managing Director of Ultimus UK & Ireland.