Moredun Research Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have announced a new strategic partnership they describe as ‘game-changing’ in advancing livestock health, welfare production and resilience in support of Scottish and global rural development, food security and food safety.
The institutions already work closely together through the provision of research and veterinary disease surveillance services to the Scottish Government. Now, a strengthened partnership will build on their complementary expertise and capacity in animal health, welfare, genetics, nutrition and pastoral farming systems.
To support this, the alliance will see cross-disciplinary collaborative teams established over the coming months in areas of strength, such as biosecurity, food security and SMART farming. These teams will maximise opportunities to leverage new sources of investment from Scottish, UK, EU and global funders and share facilities, equipment and resources. The changes will drive an improvement in the quality and relevance of research, providing solutions for Scottish and global challenges.
As part of their joint activities, the SAC Consulting veterinary team based on the Bush Estate near Edinburgh will relocate to a shared laboratory facility at Moredun next year.
Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said: “This strengthened relationship with Moredun signals a step change in the way that Scottish research institutes will work and collaborate in future. Underpinning this relationship is a fundamental shift in our approach to ‘doing business’ where we will seek to maximise opportunities to share facilities and expertise, create critical mass in selected areas of research where we have recognised strength or the potential to create world class presence and impact rapidly. This is a timely opportunity that will enable both organisations to position ourselves to better support our existing stakeholders, customers and future investors both within Scotland and globally.”
Julie Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute, said: “Some of the grand challenges we face, including food security, environmental protection and adopting a “One Health” approach linking health of humans, animals and our environment, requires teams of scientists working together in multi-disciplinary teams, focussing on the areas of maximum impact. SRUC and Moredun scientists will lead the way in developing new technologies and establishing routes to bring these to practical and commercial reality. Both organisations have extensive and longstanding links to farmers, land owners and others involved in custodianship of Scotland’s environment and our combined aim will be to support rural and urban communities across the country through research, development and knowledge exchange.”
The enhanced partnership aims to provide: