The Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme is an exciting and ambitious programme of science encouraging innovation in agriculture, food production the environment and how we use our natural resources. An event held at the Royal Highland Show on Thursday morning is inviting scientists to present a futuristic look at how new technologies and innovations might transform future farming practices.
The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Mr Fergus Ewing said, “ I am delighted to be opening this event, during my first appearance at the Royal Highland Show as the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity. This investment in science by the Scottish Government will help ensure that Scotland remains at the forefront of ground breaking advances that have the potential to transform farming and food production in this country and across the world”.
This new programme of research will have far reaching impacts that address some of the world’s most pressing issues including: How to feed a growing population, safeguarding our natural resources, ensuring food and water security, combating pests and diseases, enhancing health and well being and building resilient rural communities.
Six world renowned Scottish Research organisations will be working together to deliver the science, the Moredun Research Institute, Scotland’s Rural College, the James Hutton Institute, The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health , Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director of Moredun Research Institute said, “This is a very exciting time to look at how new advances in research may be applied to increase the sustainable productivity of our agricultural sector through developing new varieties, applying new strategies to control disease, using new techniques to minimise green house gas emissions and improve human nutrition and well being. We are delighted to showcase some of our new research ideas to show the breadth and scope of Scotland’s national capability in land based science”.
Four of the leading scientists from the Strategic Research Programme gave soundbites on a future look of what research might offer: Dr Philip Skuce from Moredun Research Institute discussed how new vaccines offered greener solutions to disease control; Dr Wendy Russell from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health highlighted how new research into gut microbes can influence our health and well being; Dr Kenneth Loades from the James Hutton Institute presented on new strategies to improve the utility and function of our soils and Steven Thomson from Scotland’s Rural College looked at how we might support remote rural communities in areas facing natural constraint.
Notes to editors
The Scottish Government has allocated over £48 million in 2016 -17 for strategic scientific research in the area of rural affairs, food and the environment.
The funding supports: