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Environment, natural resources and agriculture - strategic research 2022-2027: overview

We are investing around £50 million a year into a portfolio of strategic research to ensure that Scotland maintains its position at the very cutting edge of advances in agriculture, natural resources and the environment.

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Centres of expertise

£7 million (2022 to 2023) is being provided to five centres of expertise in areas of high policy importance: water, climate change, animal disease outbreaks, plant health and knowledge exchange. These are virtual centres that bring together expertise across the publicly funded research sector.

Each Centre of Expertise aims to provide the best available scientific advice to inform Government policy in an efficient, accessible and streamlined way. The Centres' work will be aligned to research within the MRPs, closely linked to the wider policy agenda from Government, and draw widely on the resources within Higher Education Institutes and other research providers.

Centre of expertise - EPIC Centre of Expertise in Animal Diseases

Brief summary

The EPIC Centre of Expertise in Animal Disease Outbreaks aims to provide the best available scientific advice to inform government policy on reducing the impact of animal disease outbreaks. It provides access to expertise from across Scotland to enhance the co-ordination and synergy of the science and to stimulate innovative thinking in support of policy. This Centre builds on partnerships established in a previous initiative. More information is available on the EPIC Centre of Expertise website.

Allocated cost

2022 to 2023: £2 million

Lead organisation and contact

Professor Dominic MellorUniversity of Glasgow

Partner organisations

Website

Visit: EPIC Centre of Expertise website

Centre of expertise - climate change

Brief summary

The Centre of Expertise on Climate Change (ClimateXChange) aims to create a world-renowned centre of expertise to deliver objective, independent, integrated and authoritative evidence to support the Scottish Government in relation to its activities on climate change mitigation, adaptation and transition to a low carbon economy.

Allocated cost

2022 to 2023: £2.7 million

Lead organisations and contacts

Partner organisations

Website

Visit: ClimateXChange website

Centre of expertise - water

Brief summary

The Centre of Expertise on Water (CREW) aims to provide the best available scientific advice to inform government policy on the management of water. It will provide access to expertise and advice from across Scotland, enhance co-ordination and synergy of science, and stimulate innovative thinking in support of policy.

Allocated cost

2022 to 2023: £1 million

Lead organisation and contact

Professor Bob Ferrier , James Hutton Institute (Director)

Partner organisations

(* These 3 university alliances together include all of Scotland's university sector)

Website

Visit: CREW website.

Centre of expertise – plant health

Brief summary

The establishment of a Centre of Expertise on Plant Health was announced on 1 February 2018. The aim of this centre is to enhance co-ordination and synergy of the best available scientific advice to inform government policy and action on the management of the wide range of pests and pathogens which pose a threat to Scotland’s agriculture, forestry and natural environment.

Allocated cost

2022 to 2023: £0.6 million

Lead organisation and contact

Professor Ian TothJames Hutton Institute (Director)

Partner organisations

Website

Plant Health Centre of Expertise

Centre of expertise – knowledge exchange and impact

Brief summary

The centre for knowledge exchange and impact will ensure that the outputs and outcomes of research are disseminated effectively to a wide range of stakeholders, to improve the impact of the research and ensure its broader benefits are realised.

The centre: 

  • provides a strategic approach to communication and knowledge exchange which enhances the outputs of the Strategic Research Programme (SRP)
  • acts as a focal point to create, develop and maintain a strong single identity for the SRP
  • provides funding and support for integrated approaches which link areas of work across the SRP and enhance their impact
  • through working with researchers and stakeholders, identifies areas and key themes where knowledge exchange activity can deliver maximum impact that is both targeted and accessible, and where relevant, policy friendly
  • ensures effective knowledge exchange with a wide range of stakeholders will be the major route through which the research providers contribute to supporting innovation and improvement in practice, policy and industry and supporting economic growth

In 2022 to 2027, the centre will receive £0.76 million of funding.

Lead organisation and contact

Dr Charles Bestwick, SEFARI Gateway (Director)

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