RESAS Strategic Research: 2014 Highlights

A report highlighting research outputs and resulting impact that were funded though the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) division within the Scottish Government's Rural Affairs, Food and Environment portfolio in 2013-14.


RESAS investment in scientific research focuses on applied science and provides a foundation for sustainable use of our natural resources. It also enables advancement of the evidence base over a wide range of rural and agricultural themes such as crop science, animal welfare, human health and wellbeing and global challenges like food security and climate change. RESAS-funded researchers work closely with industry to maximise the impact our research is having in relevant sectors, and maintain close relationships with other public bodies (e.g. SNH, SEPA) providing excellent opportunities for knowledge exchange as well as joint inputs and outcomes.

The majority of the research is carried out by our main research providers (MRPs). These are research institutes that undertake applied work contributing to the evolution of long-term research programmes. The MRPs are:

James Hutton Institute (Hutton): carries out research associated with crops, soils, water, land use, and the environment. It is the first institute of its type in Europe and the research aims to make major contributions to the understanding of key global issues, such as food, water, energy, environmental security and rural development.

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC): supports land-based industries and communities with research focusing on sustainable agriculture, animal health and welfare, food chains, economics, and the environment.

Moredun Research Institute (MRI): carries out research into disease pathogenesis, the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines for livestock. Scientists work with farmers and vets to improve animal health and wellbeing and to support sustainable agriculture.

Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health (RINH): carries out research into how nutrition can prevent disease, improve human and animal health, the socioeconomics of food choice, the sustainability of healthy diets and the improvement of the nutritional quality of food.

Bio-informatics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS): provides support and research on mathematics and statistics to all of the MRPs.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE): carries out research in international, UK and Scottish plant systematics and conservation.

Centres of Expertise have been established to encourage links between RESAS funded research and Scottish Government policy teams and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The three current CoEs are:

Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW): delivers objective and robust research and expert opinion to support the development and implementation of water policy in Scotland.

ClimateXChange (CXC): provides research, advice and analysis to the Scottish Government as it develops and implements policies on adapting to the changing climate and the transition to a low carbon society.

Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks (EPIC): brings together the best available scientific expertise under one umbrella to inform the Scottish Government and the livestock industry on reducing the impact of animal disease outbreaks.


Email: Jenny Watson

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