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Publication - Research and analysis

Rrual Affairs, food and the Environment (RAFE) strategic research portfolio 2016-21: overview

The Scottish Government is investing around £45m a year over 2016-2021 into a portfolio of Strategic Research to ensure that Scotland maintains its position at the very cutting edge of advances in agriculture, food and the environment.

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Rrual Affairs, food and the Environment (RAFE) strategic research portfolio 2016-21: overview
Underpinning Capacity

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In 2019-2020, the Scottish Government is providing £7m of funding towards Underpinning Capacity activities.  This funding is intended to help maintain, some of the services which support the science and knowledge exchange elements of the Strategic Research Programme.

These comprise:

  • Support to policy:
    • The establishment and active maintenance of a network of staff that policy officials can access via designated points of contact. The activity includes the providing supporting interpretation of information on science matters, guidance, attendance at working groups, background information and signposting to key documents, based on policy demands, and;
    • where necessary, and as agreed with policy contacts, support may be required where significant additional analysis or collation of existing information is required. The timescale for completion of the work is determined by the complexity of the requirement.
  • Services – discrete, separately identifiable, activities that maintain key collections or attributes of the Scottish science base recognised as of national or international significance. These include a range of longer term data sets, as well as provision of a responsive and reactive capacity to develop diagnostic tests for animal diseases, maintaining collections of economically important crops, and a national soil archive.
  • Seedcorn Funding – enabling investment in new science. It enables Directors to provide scientific direction, e.g. for PhD studentships, post-doctoral appointments, strategic alliances and investment in more speculative science of longer term strategic potential.
  • Platform Funding - to promote scientific and financial sustainability by enabling a Main Research Provider to accept an offer to provide research activity from a funder at a Full Economic Cost (FEC)-minus price, where other sources of research funding support are not available.