Measuring the difference
Each year RESAS records metrics across the Strategic Research Programme to assess the outputs of our funding. In 2013-14, increases from the previous years were recorded both in level of outputs and additional funding attracted from other sources across three different aspects: policy and practice, trade and industry, and scientific resilience.
policy and practice
The research funded by the Scottish Government shapes policy by providing a knowledge and evidence base to help inform decisions. The research is strategic; much of it is longer term rather than directed to immediate policy needs. However the expertise and capacity available means that policy makers can ask for advice when they need it, while each year researchers produce briefs and reports which emerge from their findings and are relevant to policy needs and to end-users.
In 2011, the three Centres of Expertise were set up to allow policy makers more direct and rapid access to research and evidence. These centres undertake research within the themes of Animal Disease, Climate Change, and Water and continue to be a highly valued resource.
As well as producing briefs and reports which influence policy, a number of RESAS-funded researchers also sit on committees or are members of advisory groups which can provide other opportunities to engage with policy development.
trade and industry
The research can be useful to industry through the development of tools and technologies. A total of 6 spin-out companies formed since 1999 are still trading. Three new patents were granted on two innovations in 2014, with one already licensed. An additional 18 new income generating licence agreements were made in 2014, mostly relating to new varieties of potato, raspberry and blackcurrant.
RESAS-funded science is reported in a wide range of international scientific journals. Scientists collaborate with other MRPs to produce this work as well as co-authoring many of the papers with international researchers.
As well as producing scientific papers, RESAS-funded researchers are involved in a wide range of collaborative scientific projects - both within Scotland and further afield.
90% of RESAS funds go to MRPs. In addition to providing direct support to scientific research, the funding also helps the MRPs raise additional money from sources including the EU, Defra and the research councils which can then be fed back into research.
Email: Jenny Watson
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