Scottish Environment Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI): analysis

Reports the findings of Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) commissioned research to analyse how the five Main Research Providers (MRPs) relate to their collective identity as Scottish Environment Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI), how they benefit from the collective identity, and how the SEFARI identity can best contribute to the next cycle of strategic research funding.

Appendix 1:  MRP Overview 

Research aims/focus interface between the mathematically-based sciences and a wide span of applied sciences covering agriculture and the rural economy, the environment, food and health To be at the  forefront of  innovative and  transformative science  for  sustainable management  of land, crop and natural resources that supports thriving communities. greater understanding of disease pathogenesis, the development of diagnostic tests and the creation of novel vaccines. applies cutting edge science and technology to develop effective treatments, diagnostic tests and vaccines to safeguard livestock health. play a major role in the UK research capability in nutrition and human health molecular studies on the impact of diet and health, social science and behaviour change, and population based studies. a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation

Scottish biodiversity Plants& Climate change  Conservation
A focus on the natural economy with expertise in Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Crops & Soils, Land Economy & Environment and Future Farming Systems
Users of research knowledge support and research on mathematics and statistics to the other Main Research Providers, government agencies and other research institutions" Land managers; Land agencies; NGOs; international science community; Business and enterprise e.g. crop breeders, extractive industries Scientists work with farmers and vets to improve animal health and wellbeing and to support sustainable agriculture food and drink industry

policy e.g. food security;

obesity schools, community
Public Schools National and internal sectors associated with the natural economy and rural industries
Main activities; Missions To develop and apply quantitative methodologies with a rigorous mathematical and statistical basis. Research, Knowledge Exchange e.g. Consultancy, Training  Combines existing strengths in crops, soils and land use, social science and environmental research conducts world class scientific research to improve livestock health and welfare through the prevention and control of infectious diseases of livestock. Offering specialist support to industry, the Institute contributes to public policy and supports education at school, university and community levels.  a Non- Departmental Public Body and its functions are defined by the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985 including research, education, collections and public access HEI - research, education and consultancy
Scottish Government relevance  Delivery of the Strategic Research Programme. BioSS provides support in quantitative science across the whole RESAS portfolio

e.g. The Forum for Quantitative Science (FQS), with support from the Scottish Government, attended by staff from CAMERAS partnership organisations and RESAS MRPs.  Collaboration with EPIC (CoE)
Delivery of the Strategic Research Programme, SEFARI Gateway and all of the Centres of Expertise Delivery of the Strategic Research Programme Delivery of the Strategic Research Programme

Much of the current research is sponsored by the Scottish Government and aims to address the big issues of our time, including food inequalities, food security and obesity, as well as the sustainable development of Scotland's food industry. 
Delivery of the Strategic Research Programme Delivery of the Scottish Government Veterinary Surveillance Programs; Delivery of the Scottish Government Farm Advisory service; Delivery of RESAS SRP 
Other funding sources UKRI, EU, agencies and industry   Commercial, industry income Major programmes of food and health-related research are also funded by the EU and research councils.   SFC, UKRI, industry
Organisational  Characteristics/ activities BioSS has a distributed structure, with staff located within offices of other MRPs, to enable close collaboration and full integration offices and laboratories in Aberdeen and Dundee and employs approximately 550 staff.  supports postgraduate students. a commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited, competitive advantage through science and technology, including consultancy and analytical services for research and commercial purposes. The Moredun Foundation  is a registered charity, with over 12,000 members from the farming, veterinary and associated industries.  The Moredun Group now employs over 150 scientists, vets and support staff    MSc programmes Online courses Short courses Tertiary education from FE through HE to MSc and PhD;  Research; Consultancy"

Authors' construction. Sources – websites last accessed 30 March 2020.
Scottish Government, Rural Environmental, Science and Analytical Service –Strategic Research – Research providers
BioSS – Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland 
The James Hutton Institute
The Moredun Research Institute
The Rowett Institute
Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) 



Back to top