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

Implementing an Ecosystem Approach in Aberdeenshire

This research briefing summarises the results of a governance and policy analysis for Aberdeenshire. It was undertaken using funding from the Ecosystem Services Theme of the Scottish Government Environmental Change Programme 2011-2016 to support Aberdeenshire Council with the first stage of the Regional Land Use Pilot project. Read more

Published on 11 June 2014 in Sustainability and Communities , Ecosystems and biodiversity

Plant Traits, Functional Diversity, and Ecosystem Services

The protection of biodiversity is seen increasingly within the context of ecosystem service delivery, but understanding how biodiversity controls the delivery of ecosystem functions and processes, and hence final ecosystem services, is not straightforward. Read more

Published on 13 May 2014 in Sustainability and Communities , Ecosystems and biodiversity

The Journey from Genes to Plant Traits Reveal a Flexible Response to a Changing Environment

To address the challenges brought about by the impact of climate change and our increasing reliability on plant based food, fuel and materials, requires an understanding of molecular processes that underlie crop responses to environmental stresses. Read more

Published on 1 May 2014 in Climate, water and energy , Food, health and wellbeing

Improving Food Security and Nutrition Through Fisheries and Aquaculture

The aim of this strand of research is to assess the efficiency and sustainability of the food supply chain and food security in Scotland. Read more

Published on 24 April 2014 in Food, health and wellbeing

Linkages between Functional Traits can Predict Ecosystem Services

Research at the James Hutton Institute has addressed how traits can be used to link different trophic levels and to understand how management impacts cascade through functional pathways in ecosystems. Read more

Published on 3 April 2014 in Sustainability and Communities , Ecosystems and biodiversity

How Increasing Red Deer Density is Affecting their Selection of Habitats

Scotland has a red deer population of approximately 300,000. In the last five decades there has been increasing concern that heavy grazing pressure, especially by sheep and deer, imposes a threat to the biodiversity of the Scottish upland habitats. Read more

Published on 2 April 2014 in Ecosystems and biodiversity

Electronic Identification as a tool for Precision Livestock Management

The aim of this brief is to present some ideas on how to use EID as a management tool in beef and sheep systems, based on research, demonstration and knowledge exchange activities conducted by research staff at SRUC's Hill & Mountain Research Centre, Kirkton and Auchtertyre research farms. Read more

Published on 24 March 2014 in Sustainability and Communities , Food, health and wellbeing

Improving Policy: Learning from Farmers Responses to Knowledge Exchange

Understanding the science of effective knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) and evaluating activities to investigate their potential impact, as well as barriers to innovation, forms an important part of our research. Read more

Published on 24 March 2014 in Sustainability and Communities

The Agricultural Knowledge and Information System in the UK

This research aimed to describe the Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS) in the UK to better understand who produces and exchanges agricultural knowledge. Read more

Published on 13 March 2014 in Sustainability and Communities

Flood Inundation Modelling and Visualization: Application for Natural Flood Management

Natural Flood Management (NFM) is generally defined as the alteration, enhancement, restoration or utilisation of natural landscape features and characteristics as a way of reducing flood risk. Read more

Published on 24 February 2014 in Climate, water and energy

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