Agronomy and Agriculture Institute


A research facility for the development of plants and plant-based products focussing particularly on the Highlands and Islands

tractor working field

The Agronomy and Agriculture Institute carries out research into the development and commercialisation of new crops and plant products in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The Institute collaborates with growers, end-users and other research organisations and has a wide-ranging research portfolio which includes :

  • Collaboration with the food and drink industry to develop higher value markets for locally grown cereals and create a wider range of distinctive food and drink products using Highlands and Islands ingredients. Current activities include major projects with three Scottish malt whisky distilleries and the identification and utilisation of early maturing varieties of barley, oats and wheat from northern Europe
  • Development of woody crops grown as short rotation coppice (willow) or short rotation forestry for a range of purposes, but principally as a source of biomass fuels
  • Research into plants like sweet gale, arnica, daffodils and northern berry species which could produce high value natural products for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic or food and drink industries.

We have an impressive track-record of collaboration with commercial companies which includes distilleries, bakeries, watermills, breweries, a wine company, pharmaceutical and natural products companies, a housing association and a seed company. As a result of commercialisation activities with several of these companies, the Institute also has experience of developing and managing supply chains.