The Scottish Government provides around £45 million of funding each year towards a portfolio of strategic Environment, Agriculture and Food Science and Research, and is one of the largest funders of agri-environmental research in UK.
Most of this research is carried out through the Scottish Government's Main Research Providers (MRPs), operating under the title of the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI). Research in these institutes differs from universities in being both directed and long-term. Both of these attributes are becoming increasingly important as governments respond to the complex challenges facing them. Scottish Government funding of science at the MRPs forms an important part of Scotland's science base, enhancing Scotland's reputation for excellence and relevance in rural, agricultural and environmental research.
The MRPs make substantial contributions to the objectives and targets of the National Performance Framework (NPF). The MRPs also represent a significant source of innovation and enterprise activities, for which a variety of support is available.
The Scottish Government established a Co-ordinated Agenda for Marine, Environment and Rural Affairs Science (CAMERAS) to ensure that science funded in these areas is better co-ordinated and supports the Government's single purpose of sustainable economic growth. More information and papers can be found at CAMERAS.