Innovative projects to recieve £438,000 in KTIF funding

Mairi Gougeon MSP with 2 KTIF project beneficiaries
Hannah Downey

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:

“As we face a global climate emergency, investing in research and supporting innovation within our agricultural sector has never been more important or relevant.

“With this latest funding the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund has now invested more than £5.5 million in knowledge transfer and innovative solutions ranging from investing in blockchain technology to monitoring gluten free oats and increasing the resilience and production efficiency of the Scottish Suckler herd.

“By investing in these latest projects we are supporting the search for solutions that will help us continue to grow a sustainable, vibrant and innovative rural economy.”

The beef marbling project, delivered by Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) and Scotland’s Rural College, has been awarded £49,000 to use new techniques to identify the best beef animals in a herd.  Rona Sutherland of SAOS said

“The KTIF funding will enable meat wholesaler PR Duff Ltd’s farmer producer group to trial an innovative, non-invasive and cost-effective method of predicting fat marbling levels in live animals. Comparing these to post-slaughter levels, and linking them with eating quality data, will enable identification of the ideal weight gain and management conditions on farm to reach the optimum level of fat marbling. Protocols can then be developed to meet different specifications for a range of high end customers."

If you are a farmer with an idea for an innovative project, please contact the Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) to discuss your proposal.


The Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund is delivered through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014-20. The SRDP delivers Pillar 2 of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland.

Projects supported by the funding:

SRUC/SAC  -Grampian Growers Tuberzone Project Setting up an Organisational Group to introduce new processes and utilise new technologies in one part of the seed potato sector and encouraging farmers to adopt new technologies and practices.  £74,712
SRUC/SAC – DLT/Blockchain system for Gluten Free Oats Funding a digital ledger to be used to monitor gluten free oats.  Through this network the producer can provide reliable traceability and provenance, provide irrefutable evidence that their oats are genuinely gluten free, produced to the highest standards and fundamentally improve supply chains. £97,466
SRUC/SAC – Feeding for Fertility in the Suckler Herd This project will assess the nutritional status of the suckler cows both pre-calving and post-calving and link this along with changes to body condition scores and fertility.  £74,429
SAOS – Livestock Performance Programme The aim of this project is to increase the resilience and production efficiency of the Scottish Suckler herd by piloting the use ScotEID data to analysis and calculate key management decisions on a day to day basis thus improving the herds’ performance, profitability and environmental efficiency. £60,873
SAOS – Beef Marbling in a High Value Supply Chain The project aims to enable producers to use new techniques to identify the best beef animals in a herd for each customer-specific supply chain.  £49,033
Wholesome Pigs Ltd – PRRS Elimination in Pigs This is to pilot the elimination of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)  from the Moray Coast and refine the techniques that can be applied to the rest of the country.   £81,314