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

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