The James Hutton Institute (JHI) has revealed it is in negotiation with commercial companies over possible scientific collaborations, as it forges ahead with plans to spend £62 million of Tay Cities Deal funding.
JHI chief executive Professor Colin Campbell told a meeting of the Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) a spin-out business has already been established to handle innovation developed at the institute and its commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited.
Prof Campbell said he had a long shopping list for the new funding, which he said could have a transformative impact on agriculture, and outlined the “enormous” potential of the open science campuses planned for Invergowrie and Aberdeen.
He said: “We have had a fantastic experience collaborating with Intelligent Growth Solutions in the development of disruptive technologies for the future of vertical farming.
“Hutton will be an even more open science institute, facilitated by new investment on our sites and embracing many collaborators, stakeholders and the public.”
The Invergowrie campus will house the £35m International Barley Hub (IBH) and the Advanced Plant Growth Centre (APGC) innovation centres, while Aberdeen’s Craigiebuckler Campus will house the Hydro Nation International Centre.
The IBH is expected to be a centre of excellence linking industry-focused research and innovation, to ensure the long-term sustainability of the agriculture, brewing, distilling, food and non-food sectors.
The APGC was also supported with a £27m investment from the Tay Cities deal and its aim is to generate state-of-the-art research and innovation infrastructure associated with totally-controlled-environment agriculture, a market expected to be worth $10 billion by 2025.