Our cereals research programme is aimed at developing new commercial opportunities for cereals in the Highlands and Islands and includes research on both old and modern cereal varieties. Apart from creating new markets for growers and food and drink companies, the programme also aims to increase self-sufficiency in rural areas, reduce the carbon footprint of the region's food and drink industry and conserve valuable crop genetic resources.
We have an important research programme investigating the potential of biomass crops as sources of wood fuel for windy, northern areas like Orkney.
Many Scottish plants have a long tradition of use as sources of medicines, flavourings, fragrances, dyes, cosmetic products and for other specialist purposes. Our region has a unique but varied range of growing conditions which have important effects on the vegetation and crops which grow in the region and on the chemical composition and quality of plant products. Moreover, the unspoilt Scottish environment has an excellent marketing image, making the area potentially very attractive for the production of plant-based natural products.