Innovation

Scottish Forestry has launched a new spatial data hub providing access to information helpful to foresters, land managers, developers, teachers, students, researchers and others. 

The Open Data hub offers 70 geospatial data sets and is downloadable for use in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

An upcoming Scottish Rural Action conference will kick start a 'rural movement' to make rural Scotland's voice heard.

Representatives from rural Scotland's communities, businesses and organisations are invited to attend the free event taking place from 26 to 27 February at New Lanark Visitor Centre, the renowned world heritage site.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently launched the Scottish Charity Awards 2020, encouraging organisations from across the country to apply. 

The annual awards are organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and celebrate the fantastic work that charities and community groups do every day to help those in need and raise awareness of important causes. 

The date for the next Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF) Project Assessment Committee (PAC) has been set for Tuesday 4 February 2020.

If you are interested in applying you should visit the Rural Payments and Services website for full information including the latest guidance to be followed when applying. The KTIF scheme is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme. 

Expressions of interest to attend this year's Rural Youth Project Ideas Festival are now open.

Starting on Friday 29 November and concluding Sunday 1 December, the Rural Youth Project Ideas Festival residential weekend will be a mixture of workshops, inspiring speakers, fun outdoor and indoor activities, evening functions and networking with young people across the world that will leave delegates empowered to make real and lasting change in their rural communities.

An upcoming business seminar will explore the concept of farm business incubators as a route into farming for new entrants in Scotland.

The NEWBIE business seminar at AgriScot on 20 November will be a chance to hear about an international exchange to north France and how farm business incubators to help new entrants there.

A group of farmers are working with SAC Consulting and a data company to develop distributed ledger, or blockchain, technology that will allow consumers to trace oats along the supply chain and be assured they are gluten free.

A new programme has launched to help businesses develop their online presence and make the most of the digital opportunities available.

GrowOnline is an online programme open to anyone. If you sign up you will have access to a wide range of online resources including ideas, information, tutorials and mutual support from participants.

The programme has been developed by community-based enterprise support organisation GrowBiz as part of its new Making Rural Business Digital project.

From growing lemons on Lewis to a Michelin-starred chef cooking Skye mutton, Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) groups are pioneering a range of new routes to take local produce to market on the islands. RISS provides professional support to farmers interested in trying new things. It connects them with the right people and helps them develop a viable project.

Six projects will benefit from £438,000 of investment to drive innovation in farming and food production.

Delivered through the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund, the new funding supports projects that introduce innovative approaches to enhancing competitiveness, promoting efficiency, and helping businesses shift to a low carbon climate resistant economy.

Announcing the funding while visiting Stravenhouse Farm near Carluke, one of the farms involved in the project, Rural Minister Mairi Gougeon said:

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