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About Us

About Us

We are SEFARI Gateway, Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for knowledge exchange and innovation. Experts in knowledge exchange for the Scottish Government’s Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Research Portfolio. Providing bespoke access to the Portfolio’s research, expertise, and analysis to ensure scientific evidence helps inform the health, wealth and wellbeing of Scotland.

 

Our mission

We connect research and policy across a broad network of stakeholders and topics through co-construction, partnerships and expert responsiveness.

Delivering an innovative programme of co-constructed knowledge exchange researchDelivering an innovative programme of co-constructed knowledge exchange research

Supporting Horizon Scanning for future research prioritiesSupporting Horizon Scanning for future research priorities

Responding to urgent policy priorities by providing expertise and analysisResponding to urgent policy priorities by providing expertise and analysis

Breaking silos and building enduring networks across and between policy, industry and societyBreaking silos and building enduring networks across and between policy, industry and society

Supporting the coordination of research, analysis and skills developmentSupporting the coordination of research, analysis and skills development

Discover knowledge exchange

The Portfolio consists of...

Who:

SEFARI

SEFARI stands for Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutions, whose research and expertise provides solutions to critical mid to longer-term challenges for Scotland’s environment, agriculture, land use, food and rural communities. These institutions are underpinned by long term investment in capabilities and expertise.

SEFARI creates ‘Leading Ideas for Better Lives’, reflecting that publicly funded research in Scotland is delivering value and innovations for Scotland.

What:

The Strategic Research Programme

The founding core of SEFARI are six globally renowned institutions delivering the Scottish Government’s Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Research Programme spanning the following themes: Plant and Animal Health; Sustainable Food System and Supply; Human Impacts on Environment; Natural Resources; and Rural Futures.

Partners:

Centres of Expertise

There are four other Centres of Expertise who work in partnership with SEFARI and SEFARI Gateway. The Centres operate at the interface between policy and research providing independent advice, research and analysis relevant for policy needs across climate, water, and plant health, as well responding to animal disease outbreaks.

Our team is formed of knowledge exchange specialists and researchers located across Scotland.

Core Team

Charles Bestwick

Director

Michelle Wilson-Chalmers

Project Manager

Andrew Kelloe

Project Manager

Knowledge Brokers

Lorna Dawson

Environment

Ken Loades

Soils & Crops

Michelle McWilliams

Food & Drink

Philip Skuce

Livestock Health

Steven Thomson

Rural Economy

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this website for?

The SEFARI website is for anyone looking to access publicly funded knowledge and expertise within the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Portfolio (2022-2027). We expect it is particularly relevant for those interested in research to inform policy and practice across Scotland’s environment, agriculture, land use, food and rural communities, as well as knowledge exchange, education resources, training and horizon scanning. This website is currently undergoing a refresh and will provide updated information on the following:

  • The latest Strategic Portfolio Research analysis and interpretation, including news, events blogs and case studies disseminating key findings and impacts.
  • A programme of innovative knowledge exchange and research including Fellowships, Specialist Advisory Groups, an Innovative Knowledge Exchange Scheme, training events and horizon scanning.
  • Descriptions of and the latest outputs from cross-cutting and multi-disciplined Strategic Research across Plant and Animal Health, Sustainable Food System and Supply, Human Impacts on Environment, Natural Resources and Rural Futures.
  • Resources from across the Portfolio, including reports and briefings, interactive web tools, educational resources, and directories of SEFARI expertise, national facilities and infrastructure.
Who is SEFARI?

SEFARI stands for Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutions and is a consortium of one Centre for Knowledge Exchange and Innovation (SEFARI Gateway), six globally renowned research institutes with a network of scientific expertise and infrastructure, who work in partnership with four multi-partner policy-facing Centres of Expertise. These institutes are:

Collectively these institutions deliver the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Portfolio 2022-2027, which addresses key mid to longer-term challenges for Scotland’s environment, agriculture, land use, food and rural communities. You can learn more about SEFARI and its research by watching this video. SEFARI was launched by the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform on 29 March 2017.

What is the Strategic Research Portfolio? The Strategic Research Portfolio (2022-2027) is funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural Environment Science and Analytical Service and addresses key mid to longer-term challenges for Scotland’s environment, agriculture, land use, food and rural communities. The Strategic Research Portfolio’s partners ensure research contributes to Scotland’s National Outcomes and Programme for Government, and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Scottish Government is committing nearly £250 million over five years on developing solutions to priority research and policy topics: climate change, land use, biodiversity, the rural economy, animal and plant disease, and water and flooding. There is also new funding for research on air quality, circular economy and land reform.
What is the Strategic Research Programme?

This Strategic Research Programme is the long-term research component of the wider Strategic Research Portfolio and is delivered by the six SEFARI research institutes. The latest Strategic Research Programme runs from 2022-2027 and consists of over a hundred cross-cutting and multidisciplinary projects organised under the following themes:

  • Plant and Animal Health
  • Sustainable Food System and Supply
  • Human Impacts on Environment
  • Natural Resources
  • Rural Futures

The Strategic Research Programme is also referred to as the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Research Programme. Expertise from Higher Education institutions was brought in to ensure the strategic research programme is fully responsive to Scottish Government policy needs.

Who is SEFARI Gateway?

SEFARI Gateway is the Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise Knowledge Exchange and Innovation. Gateway facilitates co-construction and expert responsiveness - at scale and pace - across Policy (national and local), Agencies, Industry, and Third Sector, breaking silos and forging more comprehensive and enduring networks. Gateway delivers its own programme of innovative knowledge exchange and research activities and ensures rapid and flexible access to the Strategic Research Portfolio’s knowledge and expertise to inform current and future policy priorities for the Scottish Government’s National Outcomes and Programme for Government. Where it is necessary, Gateway subcontracts external expertise from key partners in agencies, higher education and academia more broadly.

Originally focused on providing knowledge exchange support for the Strategic Research Programme, from 2018 SEFARI Gateway evolved to work more broadly across the Strategic Portfolio. This cross-Portfolio remit supporting new knowledge exchange and partnerships with Strategic Portfolio Expertise will be a core component of SEFARI Gateway’s work across 2022-2027. SEFARI is a virtual Centre of Expertise drawing upon specialist research and knowledge exchange specialists from across the Strategic Portfolio and beyond.

Who are the Centres of Expertise?

The Centres of Expertise each have a different model and work differently but are unified in their purpose to bridge research and policy, to ensure knowledge and expertise is responsive to issues related to climate, water, animal disease outbreaks and plant health.

SEFARI Gateway is the fifth and most recently created Centre of Expertise Knowledge and Innovation. You can learn more about Gateway and what we do by watching this video.

The Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) draws knowledge from the research community to inform water policies in Scotland, helping to ensure the efficient and wise use of water resources. CREW brings together stakeholders to achieve a collective understanding of the challenges climate change could bring to the water sector, works to find solutions and supports Scotland’s ‘Hydro Nation’ ambition. You can learn more about CREW and what they do by watching this video.

ClimateXChange (CXC) provides independent advice, research and analysis to support the Scottish Government as it develops and implements policies on adapting to the changing climate and work towards achieving its net-zero goal. CXC plays a crucial role in providing evidence across reducing emissions from construction, land use, heating and the transport systems. You can learn more about CxC and what they do by watching this video.

The Plant Health Centre (PHC) brings together the different plant sectors (forestry, horticulture, natural environment and agriculture) to coordinate plant health knowledge across Scotland. The PHC does this by connecting the science to its application and by collaborating with a range of stakeholders (Scottish Government, industry and public bodies) in order to better understand and tackle the pests and pathogens that threaten our environment. You can learn more about PHC and what they do by watching this video.

Epidemiology, Population health and Infectious disease Control (EPIC) is a consortium involving six Scottish research institutions that aims to protect animal health by advising policy teams about animal disease outbreaks. Along with carrying out long term research, EPIC is also a rapid response unit which provides support in the event of emergencies. You can learn more about EPIC and what they do by watching this video.

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