Research Programmes

Sustainable Intensification Research Platform

The Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP) is a multi-partner research programme comprising farmers, industry experts, academia, environmental organisations, policymakers and other stakeholders.Funded by Defra and the Welsh Government, the platform is exploring the opportunities and risks of Sustainable Intensification (SI) from a range of perspectives and landscape scales across England and Wales.

National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on Phase
In 2011 the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) delivered information on the state, value (economic and social) and possible future of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems across the UK, but also identified a number of key uncertainties. The follow-on phase of the UK NEA will further develop and promote the arguments that the UK NEA put forward and make them applicable to decision and policy making at a range of spatial scales across the UK to a wide range of stakeholders. Read here

Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (Relu)
The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (Relu) aims to advance understanding of the challenges rural areas in the UK face. Interdisciplinary research is being funded from 2004-2013 in order to inform future policy and practice with choices on how to manage the countryside and rural economies. Over 60 research projects have been funded exploring key research themes including land and water, sustainable food chains, animal and plant disease and adapting to environmental change. The relu website provides details of all research projects and has copies of briefing papers and policy & practice notes available to download for free.

Rural Economy and Land Use (Relu) Knowledge Portal
The Portal provides access to research data, publications, outputs and interdisciplinary methodologies from Rural Economy and Land Use Programme projects on land and water, sustainable food chains, animal and plant disease and adapting to environmental change.

Living with Environmental Change (LWEC)
The purpose of LWEC is to ensure that decision makers in government, business and society have the knowledge, foresight and tools to mitigate, adapt to and benefit from environmental change. LWEC is a partnership of 21 public sector organisations that fund, carry out and use environmental research and observations. They include the UK research councils, government departments with environmental responsibilities, devolved administrations and government agencies.

Global Food Security (GFS)
The UK's main public funders of food-related research are working together through the Global Food Security programme to meet the challenge of providing the world's growing population with a sustainable, secure supply of nutritious food from less land and using fewer inputs.

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS)
BESS is a five year (2011-2015) research programme, which aims to contribute to an understanding of the functional role of biodiversity in key ecosystem processes. It will undertake research and activities in an integrated way and take a holistic approach to exploring the functional role of biodiversity in UK ecosystems across a range of environmental gradients and scales.

Ecosystems Knowledge Network (EKN)
The Ecosystems Knowledge Network is a resource for anyone wanting to share knowledge or learn about the practical benefits of an ecosystems approach. It draws together experience from the UK and elsewhere to assist organisations to understand how an ecosystems approach can help build sustainable communities.

Insect Pollinators Initiative (IPI)
The aim of this initiative is to promote innovative research aimed at understanding and mitigating the biological and environmental factors that adversely affect insect pollinators.

Valuing Nature Network (VNN)
The Valuing Nature Network's mission is to support interdisciplinary partnerships to scope, develop and promote research capacity in the valuation of biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural resources and facilitate the integration of such approaches in policy and practice in the public and private sectors.

Demonstration Test Catchments
Demonstration Test Catchments will find out if new farming practices, which aim to reduce diffuse pollution from agriculture, can also deliver sustainable food production and environmental benefits across whole river catchments.

Macronutrients Cycle
Macronutrient cycles - nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus - are pivotal in the stability of global biogeochemical cycles, in sustaining natural resources and in protecting human health and biodiversity. The goal of the programme is to quantify the scales (magnitude and spatial/temporal variation) of N and P fluxes and nature of transformations through the catchment under a changing climate and perturbed C cycle.

Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Inventory Research Platform
A partnership of universities, research institutes and private companies delivering one of the largest government funded research programmes in the UK on measuring and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.