SEFARI, the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes, is a consortium of six globally renowned research institutes. As SEFARI, these institutes deliver the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Programme (SRP), which addresses key mid to longer-term challenges for Scotland’s environment, agriculture, land use, food and rural communities.
SEFARI are partners in the wider Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Portfolio. This Portfolio investment is worth £250 million over 2016-2021 and is one of the largest for agri-environment research in the UK and represents a globally distinct investment in and capability for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research.
SEFARI and the Strategic Research Programme is one of several partners delivering to and areas of investment in this Portfolio. The newest partner is the SEFARI Gateway - the knowledge exchange and impact hub for SEFARI. It works to improve the flow of research, knowledge and expertise to and from policy, industry and the public - to provide multiple benefits and impacts.
SEFARI and the Gateway collaborate with other partners including the Centres of Expertise, who work at the interface between policy and research, and deliver shorter, more policy-responsive work on issues related to climate, water, animal disease outbreaks and plant health.
The Portfolio also underpins Scotland’s research infrastructure, supports the investment in the next generation of scientists, and helps generate new partnerships with stakeholders across Scotland, UK and the world. This ensures the greatest possible impact of Scotland's research and expertise within the UK and further afield. You can find more information about each of these below while our annual reports can be found here.
SEFARI, the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes, aims to deliver ‘Leading Ideas for Better Lives’, reflecting that publicly funded research in Scotland is delivering a positive impact for policy, business and public users, whether in Scotland or elsewhere.
This consortium is comprised of six research institutes, each with their own global capability, expertise and reputation. These six institutes are:
SEFARI was launched by the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform on 29 March 2017.
SEFARI delivers the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Programme 2016-2021 on agriculture, environment, food and land, providing direct and tangible benefits across diverse issues, including:
There have been two previous Strategic Research Programmes between 2005-2010 and 2011-2016. This research is still important today, as the ideas and technologies from this work are still coming to fruition and are helping to inform the research taking place today and in the future.
The SEFARI Gateway is the knowledge exchange and impact hub for SEFARI. The Gateway works to improve the flow of research and expertise, ensuring it gets to the right people, at the right time, in the right format. The Gateway also seeks to lift the lid on why research is commissioned, how it is used (or not) by diverse audiences and feed this back to our researchers.
The Gateway seeks to actively engage with stakeholders and build collaborations; it aims to understand the needs of different stakeholders (policy, public and business), in order to be able to respond appropriately.
The Gateway provides funds for a series of initiatives to bring expertise to stakeholders through a highly successful fellowship scheme, Think Tanks and bespoke knowledge exchange (Responsive Opportunity) projects. You can find more about the impact of these initiatives here.
The Centres of Expertise work at the interface between policy and research, and provide responsive work on issues related to climate, water, animal disease outbreaks and plant health. The Centres draw upon the expertise of some SEFARI researchers and others from research and academic institutions across Scotland.
Underpinning all of this is long-term investment in the science and knowledge exchange being delivered across the strategic research portfolio. This covers support to policy, training the next generation of scientists and improving scientific capacity and infrastructure.
An extended network of scientific experts provide support and advice to policy officials. In addition to the services provided by the Centres of Expertise, this covers the following topics:
Common Agricultural Policy and the Scottish Rural Development Programme
Environmental Change and Human Health
Food and Drink Supply Chain
Community Empowerment, Land Reform and Community Participation
Global Change and Local Responses and Impacts.
Underpinning Capacity is also allowing us to develop and train the next generation of scientists. This covers over 110 students spread over 30 academic institutions in the UK, EU and worldwide.
This investment helps us forge new strategic alliances and develop new areas of longer-term strategic science to meet the evolving needs of the Strategic Research Programme, the Centres of Expertise and others.
This investment also supports globally significant and long-term datasets, experiments and collections that provide vital evidence to inform the management of natural assets and agriculturally important resources. These include:
- The Sustainable Cropping Centre
- The National Soil Archive
- The Potato Commonwealth Collection
- Datasets (meteorological, soils and pollen)
- Environmental Change Network (Glensaugh and Allt a’Mharcaidh)
- Healthy Crop Collections (raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, barley)
- Pest and Pathogens Collection
- Sludge Experiment