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

Future Land Use Change - Working locally, thinking globally

This briefing summarises the main findings from research done in two Local Focus Areas (Ballater and Huntly) as part of the Aberdeenshire Land Use Strategy Pilot. Read more

Published on 25 February 2016 in Sustainability and Communities , Ecosystems and biodiversity

Aberdeenshire Regional Land Use Pilot: Mapping the consEquences of LanD use Change (MELODiC)

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute have developed an interactive web-based mapping tool that allows users to explore the consequences of following different policy priorities on land use change and ecosystem service delivery using native woodland expansion as a lens. Read more

Published on 25 February 2016 in Sustainability and Communities

Identifying ecosystem services provided by freshwater insects

Biodiversity conservation is increasingly framed within the ecosystem services concept. Consideration of insect-related ecosystem services has largely focussed on terrestrial taxa while those inhabiting freshwater have been neglected. Read more

Published on 8 February 2016 in Ecosystems and biodiversity

Sticking points - implications for environmental management

There are many new approaches to improve environmental management practices and projects, such as the Ecosystem Approach. Read more

Published on 21 August 2015 in Sustainability and Communities

Assessing Long-term Resilience Within the Potato Supply Chain

There is growing concern that food systems should be more resilient to a variety of shocks (e.g., economic, originating from climate change). Read more

Published on 19 March 2015 in Sustainability and Communities

Changing Farm Biosecurity Practices

The Scottish Government policy on disease control is that prevention is better than cure, however in practice this can be difficult to achieve. Read more

Published on 10 February 2015 in Sustainability and Communities , Ecosystems and biodiversity , Food, health and wellbeing

Integrated Disease Management in Spring Barley

Intergrated Disease Management (IDM) could help greatly reduce the volume of crops lost to disease in Scotland, contributing to our future food security. Read more

Published on 16 December 2014 in Climate, water and energy , Ecosystems and biodiversity , Food, health and wellbeing

On-Farm Assessment of Soil Carbon Status

Soil Organic Matter (or soil carbon) is of significant importance, in terms of soil fertility, water retention, structure and biodiversity. Read more

Published on 4 September 2014 in Sustainability and Communities , Food, health and wellbeing

Eco-what?! The need for Clarity and Consistency in Communication Using Ecosystem Terminology

Within the natural resource management sector multiple ecosystem terms are presently in use. This briefing highlights key meanings underlying these terms, and suggests that better recognition of these concepts, together with consistency in use of terminology, will benefit both communication and practice. Read more

Published on 6 August 2014 in Ecosystems and biodiversity

The Impact of Animal Health Status on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Livestock

Ruminant livestock production is a key contributor to the rural and national economy of Scotland, as well as the world-renowned Scottish Food and Drink industry. Read more

Published on 8 July 2014 in Climate, water and energy , Food, health and wellbeing

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