Latest Briefing

Potatoes (c) James Hutton Institute

How investment in fundamental scientific research leads to practical outcomes

The societal benefits of funding applied scientific research – research which addresses a question that is immediately and directly relevant to an end user such as a farmer or policy maker – are clear. It is nearly always relatively straightforward to identify practical outcomes that emerge from such projects, making them highly attractive to funding bodies and industrial collaborations, particularly at a time of financial constraint. However, these applied outcomes frequently rely upon and develop previous fundamental research programmes for which practical outcomes were not immediately or obviously apparent at the time. This article describes how Scottish Government (SG) investment in a number of fundamental scientific areas at Main Research Providers (MRP), through the Strategic Research Programme has underpinned research which is now yielding practical outcomes that are making a difference in Scotland and beyond.

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Published on 8 March 2016 in Food, health and wellbeing

Recent Briefings

Profiting From Animal Welfare

Examples of how farm animal welfare and profit can be simultaneously improved by addressing system components. Read more

Published on 8 June 2009 in Food, health and wellbeing

Biodiversity And Crop Plants

To maintain a productive agriculture we need to be drawing on a wealth of genetic resources, and using efficient mechanisms to incorporate the traits they bring into modern varieties to meet the challenges ahead. Read more

Published on 27 May 2009 in Ecosystems and biodiversity

Cropping Practices Affect Nitrous Oxide Emissions

SAC's research programme focussing on improving management of grain and forage legumes in cropping systems to optimise production and reduce any adverse environmental impacts. Read more

Published on 21 May 2009 in Sustainability and Communities

Enhancing Food Chain Sustainability Through Improving Business Relationships And Communication

Examination of communication as a tool to reduce uncertainty, improve access to crucial resources, increase productivity and speed up responses to changes in consumer preferences. Read more

Published on 21 May 2009 in Sustainability and Communities

Phytochemicals And Health

Locally-produced fruit and vegetables contain many compounds (phytochemicals) with potential health benefits but the amounts of phytochemicals present can vary markedly depending on variety, season, growing conditions and method of cooking. Read more

Published on 18 May 2009 in Food, health and wellbeing

Parasites And Climate Change - Implications For Scottish livestock?

Research into how climate change could be affecting the epidemiology of liver fluke and other parasitic worms in livestock. Read more

Published on 15 May 2009 in Sustainability and Communities , Climate, water and energy , Food, health and wellbeing

Identifying And Supporting High Nature Value Farming Systems

Research to further develop the HNV farming systems concept but also to highlight the nature conservation importance of European HNV farming systems and the potential impacts of Common Agricultural Policy reforms on such systems. Read more

Published on 6 May 2009 in Ecosystems and biodiversity

Health Risks And Benefits Associated With Soil

Survey and literature review looking at the impact of soil on human health and well-being . Read more

Published on 24 April 2009 in Food, health and wellbeing

Livestock Vaccines: Safeguarding Health and Sustainability

Vaccine technology developed by research scientists at the Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh is helping Scottish producers maximise the productivity and profitability of their farmed livestock, whilst at the same time farm sustainably and without degrading natural resources. Read more

Published on 21 April 2009 in Sustainability and Communities , Food, health and wellbeing

Human Appetite Research - Working Towards Effective Dietary Strategies For Weight Loss

This research is investigating how to develop diets that satisfy hunger at caloric intakes below daily energy requirements to achieve weight loss. Read more

Published on 17 April 2009 in Food, health and wellbeing