Scottish research 'super institute' launches

Aerial shot of the Scottish Crop Research Institute at Invergowrie
Image caption The Scottish Crop Research Institute at Invergowrie forms part of the new James Hutton Institute

A new research "super institute" is being launched in Scotland to tackle key global issues such as food, energy and environmental security.

The James Hutton Institute, which will employ more than 600 scientists, researchers and support staff, will be the first body of its type in Europe.

The two-site organisation will specialise in agricultural and environmental science.

It is being launched at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The institute has been formed by bringing together the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen and the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI), based at Invergowrie near Dundee.

The SCRI specialises in potato and soft fruit breeding, pest and disease control, food quality and genetics, while the Macaulay institute focuses its expertise on land use and sustainable development.

Those behind the new organisation said it had the potential to become a world leader in agricultural and environmental science.

'Exciting development'

It is named after the Edinburgh-born founder of modern geology, James Hutton, who was one of the leading figures of the 18th Century Scottish Enlightenment.

The UK's chief scientist, Sir John Beddington, hailed the arrival of the new institute as "an exciting development".

He added: "I can't over emphasise the fact that we desperately need more people to work in institutes like this - we need more people to address the important applied problems of how we address our food, water and energy security needs."

Scotland's chief scientific adviser, Prof Anne Glover, said: "By building on the excellent track records of its predecessors, the James Hutton Institute has the capacity to provide world-class research into how we can make the best use of our natural resources.

"Scientists at the new institute are well placed to make a global impact in issues such as food security, changes in land use and impacts of climate change.

"They will also have a strengthened role in supporting Scotland's rural economy and food and drink sectors.

"The James Hutton Institute will help maintain Scotland's world-leading science base in these key areas."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites