Scotland has a brand new research ‘super institute' with the job of tackling some of the world's most challenging problems including the impact of climate change and threats to food and water security.
The James Hutton Institute formally launched yesterday at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and brings together the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen and SCRI, Scotland's world renowned centre for crop research and breeding, based at Invergowrie near Dundee.
The new research organisation will employ more than 600 scientists, researchers and support staff, making it one of the biggest institutes of its type in Europe and a potential world-leader in agricultural and environmental science in which Scotland already excels.
It is named after the Edinburgh-born founder of modern geology, James Hutton, who was one of the leading figures of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment.
The UK's Chief Scientist, Sir John Beddington, has hailed the arrival of The James Hutton as "an exciting development".