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Environment, Agriculture and Food Strategic Research Strategic Research Portfolio

Commissioning of the strategic research for 2016-2021 followed extensive consultation with policy makers, academics, industry representatives and the Main Research Providers.

A Research Strategy for 2016-21 guided the development of the research portfolio.

The Scottish Government’s vision for this research strategy is:

“to support research that is relevant, respected and responsive to Scotland’s communities, its people and to the rural economy”


We will have delivered this vision in 2021 by:

  • Having a Strategic Research Programme, which has interdisciplinarity at its core and has a single clear identity that is recognised nationally and internationally for its excellent science.

  • Demonstrating increased levels of collaboration with researchers from other institutions through leverage of our investment in research.

  • Having evidence of increasing innovation activity associated with the programme with a range of non-commercial and commercial funders.

  • Ensuring we demonstrate the impact of our research undertaken on the communities, businesses, public sector and the economy of Scotland in a clear and measurable way.

  • Making the significant data holdings we support through our funding more visible and accessible.

  • Creating Centres of Expertise at points of significant demand in the system for the translation of scientific understanding from across Scotland into solutions to critical questions that will emerge over time.

Our long-term investment and support in Scotland’s capability and capacity in the areas of land-based sciences, has created a resource unique to Scotland in the form of our Main Research Providers (MRPs), operating under the title of the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI), and both that research and the MRPs we support contribute to the fulfilment of these outcomes.


Priorities identified by the Scottish Government and other stakeholders

Scotland's Economic Strategy (2015) focuses on the two mutually supportive goals of increasing competitiveness and tackling inequality with four priorities in which the Scottish Government’s actions can make a substantial difference:

  • Investing in our people and our infrastructure in a sustainable way;
  • Fostering a culture of innovation and research and development;
  • Promoting inclusive growth and creating opportunity through a fair and inclusive jobs market and regional cohesion; and,

  • Promoting Scotland on the international stage to boost our trade and investment, influence and networks.

Our strategic research investment contributes to Scotland's Economic Strategy in a number of ways.


The new research portfolio responds to these priorities while building on previous research and the existing strengths in the Main Research Providers.