Success Stories

The Scottish Government invests over £50M annually in a portfolio of strategic RAE Science and Research – principally through its main research providers (MRPs). Their innovations have been shown by independent studies to contribute to the economy and build businesses with the potential to drive future growth. Success Stories brings to life specific examples of how the organisations in knowledgescotland use Scottish Government support to bring economic, environmental, social and health benefits to Scotland and beyond.

Richard Lochhead Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment said: “Innovation is crucial to ensure Scotland’s vital food and agriculture sectors continue to flourish. The success stories highlighted today demonstrate the strength and breadth of the world class research being carried out in Scotland. However, the projects also have a practical application which will deliver benefits throughout the food supply chain and boost these important sectors of Scotland’s economy.”

Food, health and wellbeing

cow and calves

Providing the Evidence Base to Eliminate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)

If BVD virus was eradicated, research at SRUC has shown that the Scottish dairy industry could save about Read more

Published on 19 December 2014 in Food, health and wellbeing

Sheep on bench

QBA: Evaluating Animal Quality of Life

Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) is a method for animal welfare assessment that judges the dynamic expressive quality ( Read more

Published on 24 April 2014 in Food, health and wellbeing

Midwife and baby

Making a Fetus Grow

Studies using a well-established sheep model of fetal growth restriction have provided the proof of concept that prenatal maternal AdVEGF gene therapy can safely and effectively increase fetal growth in compromised pregnancies. These pre-clinical studies pave the way for this innovative new therapy to be translated and ultimately offered to pregnant women in clinic. Read more

Published on 22 October 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing

Cattle on a hillside

EPIC - Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks

The livestock disease risks that are faced in Scotland are constantly changing making it essential to provide timely and effective policy advice to the Scottish Government. EPIC Read more

Published on 17 October 2013 in Sustainability and Communities , Food, health and wellbeing

People eating

Engaging with Food

Engaging with a public (community) audience is recognised by the Scottish, UK and EU Governments as an important responsibility of the research community, especially given the rapid rate of advancement in biomedical and agri-food research and the global challenges we face, such as food security and climate change. Read more

Published on 1 October 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing

Market Stall

Creating a Local Food Culture

Locally produced food is of growing importance to Scottish consumers. SRUC has highlighted the need to support and develop local food and drink businesses, of which there are over 75,000 in Scotland. Read more

Published on 10 June 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing


Folic Acid and Human Health; Monitoring Folate Status in the UK

Research at RINH has led to the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA UK) changing the way that folate status is evaluated in the UK population. Read more

Published on 3 February 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing

Red hen

Humane Culling

SRUC Read more

Published on 2 February 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing

Choosing meat

Shopping for Animal Welfare

Many people are concerned about animal welfare and are keen to buy animal friendly products. SRUC research found that various factors have a significant influence on shoppers' buying choices, with access to welfare information and better labelling key to changing behaviour. Read more

Published on 1 February 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing


Nutrition Research: Key to Economic Growth in the Scottish Food and Drink Sector

Research at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health (RINH) is underpinning the economic objectives of the Scottish National Food and Drink Policy, reinforcing the reputation of the sector and significantly improving business performance in key areas such as research and development (R+D) activity. Read more

Published on 31 January 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing

Hen's head


SRUC research confirmed that when laying hens are able to perch regularly it increases their leg strength and showed that hens unable to perch properly show signs of frustration and were more prone to being pecked by other hens. Read more

Published on 30 January 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing


Utility of the Barley Genome

Underpinning the UKs most financially rewarding food and drink industries. The International Barley Sequencing Consortium (IBSC), spearheaded by groups in the James Hutton Institute and Germany has published an in-depth global survey of the barley genome in the journal Nature. Read more

Published on 29 January 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing

Pig transporter lorry

First Class Transport for Animals

The welfare of animals in transit is a major public and political concern. Research by SRUC (formerly SAC) and collaborators has formed the basis for improvements in the design and operation of livestock transport vehicles and improved transport practices. Read more

Published on 19 July 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing


Developing a British Blueberry Industry

There is an un-met demand for UK grown blueberries (only 1-3% of requirement met) as currently growers cannot provide the right material for the market place. Read more

Published on 18 July 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing


New Crop Disease? It's Under Control!

Ramularia leaf spot (RLS) is a new disease causing reductions in barley grain yield and quality. It was only identified in Scotland in 1998 but research by SAC has already provided farmers with the means to tackle it. Read more

Published on 17 July 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing

Healthy people

Fruitflow™ gets Health Claim Status from EFSA

Fruitflow™ is a patented, scientifically-proven tomato extract which inhibits platelet aggregation, a known cause of heart attack, stroke and venous thrombosis. Read more

Published on 16 July 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing


Wildlife links with Johne's

Johne's disease in cattle is notoriously difficult to control and is estimated to directly and indirectly cost the UK in the region of £27 million a year. Groundbreaking SRUC (formerly SAC) research has led to the expansion of knowledge of the wildlife that can carry paratuberculosis, the cause of Johne's. Read more

Published on 10 July 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing


From bugs to drugs

Research undertaken contributed to significant advances in understanding of how human gut microbes influence gut health and inflammatory bowel disease. Read more

Published on 9 July 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing

Vegetable stall

Healthy and environmentally sustainable diets

The Livewell project has demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to create a realistic and affordable diet that meets dietary requirements for health and a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the quantities of food high in greenhouse gas emissions, such as meat and dairy products. Read more

Published on 7 July 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing

Chicken Massaman

Fuller for Longer for health

Data from human studies at the Rowett Institute, which demonstrated the effectiveness of protein-enriched diets in the control of appetite and subsequent weight loss, were used by Marks and Spencer plc to develop their Simply Fuller Longer Read more

Published on 5 July 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing

raspberries in a bowl

Raspberries in the rain

Research by The James Hutton Institute has led to the first molecular marker assisted breeding system for the raspberry, allowing the selection of those seedlings that can naturally resist Phytophthora root rot, the major raspberry fungal pathogen which impacts particularly badly in wet seasons. Read more

Published on 29 June 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing


Improving sow and piglet welfare

SRUC (formerly SAC) research on birthing (farrowing) sows and newborn piglet survival has provided major contributions to improved animal welfare, economics, housing design, EU legislation and guidelines for keeping pigs. Read more

Published on 25 June 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing

Lamb with rosemary

Lamb 'get up and go'

Research by SRUC (formerly SAC) has led to the development of genetic tools to improve lamb survival. Behavioural traits that are important for lamb survival, such as lamb 'get up and go', can now by measured quickly and simply on farm, using scores based on lamb behaviour. Read more

Published on 23 June 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing


Safeguarding the health, welfare and sustainability of livestock through vaccination

Novel vaccine technology developed by research scientists at the Moredun Research Institute is helping Scottish producers maximise the productivity and profitability of their farmed livestock, whilst at the same time contributing towards improved welfare and sustainable livestock farming. Read more

Published on 19 June 2011 in Food, health and wellbeing