The Scottish Model for Translating Research into Practice: Scottish Agricultural College’s Unique Role as a KTE Provider

Event Details

Thursday, July 12, 2012
4:00-6:00 pm
Hospital for Sick Children
Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Research Institute
Room 1218, 123 Edward Street

» Download the presentation (PDF, 4 MB)

Speaker: Siân Ringrose

Policy Researcher/Research Co-ordinator, Scottish Agricultural College


SAC (also known as the Scottish Agricultural College) is a large, innovative, knowledge-based organisation. SAC’s mission is to enhance the rural economy and environment through supporting the development of land-based industries and communities. We do this through our specialist research and development resources (SAC Research), education (SAC Learning) and training provision and expert advisory and consultancy services (SAC Consulting).

This presentation will cover a brief overview of the work each of the three divisions does; concentrating in particular on KTE activities within SAC Consulting (the commercial division) and SAC Research (R&D division). SAC’s unique structure facilitates collaboration and communication between practitioners and researchers. For example, with funding from the Scottish Government and in collaboration with other industry partners, SAC Consulting have set up a series of ‘Monitor Farms’. These are commercial enterprises which agree to implement innovations developed by Researchers, from animal welfare to carbon mitigation, under real life commercial settings and relay their findings back to the Monitor Farm Group (up to 20 farmers per group). The monitor farmers then decide as a group what course of action needs to be taken next and how to implement it into practice.

As well as the practical side of KTE, SAC has created a centre within SAC Research, but with a cross divisional remit, called the Rural Policy Centre (RPC). The RPC’s aim is to establish SAC as a leading and valued authority on the impact of policy on rural businesses and communities by providing impartial analyses of current and emerging issues and contributing to debate about the challenges we face. The RPC is at the ‘coal face’ of rural policy issues, communicating to a wide range of audiences (political, commercial, scientific and the general public) on multiple topics – through briefings, commentaries and events. Pulling together work and highlighting policy issues from across the organisation in an easily accessible and digestible format for non-specialists. Unfortunately, this is not always as easy as it sounds on paper! This presentation will provide details on current RPC KTE ‘successes’, some of the challenges we’ve faced along the way and present some ideas for how to overcome these issues opening up to the audience for discussion.

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