A new report summarises the extensive and multifaceted impacts arising from the Strategic Research Programme 2016-2022, supporting Scotland’s commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals and including impacts showcased throughout COP26.
The report is organised by the three themes of the Strategic Research Programme and lists the outputs and outcomes related to support for policy and practice, innovation and the economy, collaboration and multidisciplinary research, and scientific excellence and scientific resilience.
Impacts arise from long-term sustained strategic funding, and leveraged funding extends the Strategic Research Programme knowledge base and global relevance. The Strategic Research Programme has played a crucial role in identifying and responding to emerging policy priorities, and fore-sighting for policy and industry. Long-term funding of the Strategic Research Programme also supports and drives regional investment that has national to global relevance.
The expertise and capability from Strategic Research Programme knowledge and SEFARI resources provided national capacity to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic, including a unique ONE-Health approach through a NHS testing hub. Strategic Research Programme outcomes and access to expertise are supported by knowledge exchange within individual projects and, at programme level, by the Centre for Knowledge Exchange and Innovation (also known as SEFARI Gateway) and/or Centres of Expertise. This is underpinned by enduring relationships with our stakeholders.
Highlights of the Strategic Research Programme with direct benefits to policy and practice include:
- A world first for monitoring and conserving genetic diversity
- A suite of approaches for soil health
- Promotion of conservation in multi-use landscapes
- Informing woodland expansion and soil carbon sequestration
- Supporting peatland restoration
- Informing farming to achieve net zero
- Advice on farm payment support systems
- IPM for reducing pesticide use
- Understanding data needs for Regional Land Use Partnerships
- Analyses and engagement for a National Island’s Plan
- Approaches to replacing EU LEADER funding
- Work on pre-natal food preference for health
- Long-term Strategic Research Programme contributions supporting UK Folate fortification
In support of Scotland’s economy and innovation:
- The potato genome project underpins development of new cultivars
- Work on pulses and hemp shows fundamental research delivering environmental and commercial co-benefits
- Research findings on barley from SRP and leveraged partnerships are supporting the Scottish food and drink industry via new products offering nutritional values and sustaining cultural and natural heritage
For livestock, Strategic Research Programme advances include:
- New methods for control of pulmonary adenocarcinoma in sheep
- Performance indicators of cattle informing reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
- Qualitative Behaviour Assessment continuing to deliver improved animal welfare