Crop science and research 'fundamental', hears Scottish Crop Research Institute-run R&D event

The crucial role of R&D in enhancing food security was highlighted at a conference organised by the Scottish Crop Research Institute this week.

The science underpinning crop breeding and crop disease featured at the event held at Surgeon's Hall in Edinburgh on 15 December.

The session featured the latest research outputs at SCRI, Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS), the Macaulay Institute and the Scottish Agricultural College. The crops under discussion included barley, potatoes and soft fruit. 

Head of the food industry division in the Scottish government David Thomson told the gathering that science and research was 'fundamental' because Scotland was facing challenging decisions for the future that had to be backed by good science and good research.

Delegates also spent time considering the next research programme being commissioned by the Scottish government's Rural and Environment Research & Analysis Directorate (RERAD). 

It is expected that tenders for research will be sought next year for the programme, which will run from 2011 to 2016.

Earlier this year, SCRI and the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen announced they had agreed in principle to unite to form a new research institute. 

The new institute will come into being in early 2011 and is expected to undertake major aspects of the next research programme.


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