Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) is a Scottish success story. We are the bridge between rural production and urban wellbeing. We have an unrivalled track record of delivering innovative knowledge, products and services that enrich the Scottish and UK economies. SCRI is active in 30 countries supporting sustainable development and the production of healthy, natural food.
The Scottish Horticultural Research Institute (SHRI) was established in Invergowrie in the spring of 1951 with the aim of undertaking organised research into the problems of horticultural production in Scotland. It became legally established as a self-governing, grant-aided research organisation in 1953.
In February 1981, the long-established Scottish Plant Breeding Station (SPBS) based in Pentlandfield, Edinburgh, was amalgamated with SHRI at Invergowrie and was renamed the Scottish Crop Research Institute.
In addition to its research remit, the institute administers the Scottish Society for Crop Research, providing a link between farmers, processors and other interested individuals and SCRI. Since 1987 the institute has also assumed managerial responsibility for Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS), formerly the Scottish Agricultural Statistics Service.
In 1989, SCRI established a commercial company, Mylnefield Research Services (MRS) Ltd, to market products, intellectual property and the expertise of both SCRI and MRS Ltd scientists.
SCRI is Scotland's leading institute for research on plants and their interactions with the environment, particularly in managed ecosystems. Our research products are internationally recognised.
Our mission is to conduct excellent research in plant and environment sciences.
We are studying the likely impact of climate change on Scotland and the wider world.
Our vision is to deliver innovative products, knowledge and services that enrich the life of the community and address the public goods of sustainability and high quality and healthy food.
SCRI’s research focuses on processes that regulate the growth of plants and their responses to pests, pathogens and the environment. It includes genetics to breed crops with improved quality and nutritional value.
By understanding plants’ responses to pests and diseases and how they react to the soil, air and water around them, environmentally friendly and sustainable methods of protecting crops from the ravages of pests, diseases and weeds are developed.
The main customer for our research is the Scottish Government, although we undertake commissioned research for a wide range of government bodies and commercial organisations. Research is organised into four science programmes:
There are also overarching themes under which we conduct research.
Research is conducted on a wide range of plants but particularly the crop plants barley, potato, blackcurrant and raspberry.
SCRI’s research activities make a clear contribution to the economic wellbeing, quality of life and implementation of policy objectives in Scotland as well as delivering excellence through research outcomes impacting on, and being recognised by, the global scientific community.
Research will continue to evolve to meet the challenges of societal and policy concerns about sustainable land management, healthy and nutritious foods, plant products for non-food industries, biodiversity, and climate and other environmental changes.
SCRI scientists have access to almost 5,000 m2 of fully-equipped, high-quality laboratory facilities. A rolling refurbishment programme ensures that the facilities at SCRI continue to support our high standards of research. In addition to the laboratory facilities, 2,500 m2of office space is used by researchers and support staff.
SCRI has 215 hectares of land, mostly free draining, rising from 15 to 140 m above sea level, adjacent to the laboratory complex and which is available for field experiments. Supplementary water for irrigation is provided from boreholes. There is a total of over 11,000 m2 glasshouse accommodation on site, most of it with heating and supplementary lighting to provide year-round growing conditions.
For more closely controlled conditions, there are over 90 growth cabinets and walk-in rooms of varying capacity totalling c. 700 m2 floor area.
There are various units at the institute which specialise in certain areas to assist the employees and students in their tasks: