The Roslin Institute receives Scottish Government funding for research into infectious livestock diseases

EPIC, the Pan-Scottish Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks, is to receive £1.97M in the first year, as part of £48M announced for funding into Scottish agriculture, food and environment research.

From April 2016, EPIC will be commissioned by RESAS (Rural Affairs and the Environment Strategic Research) to provide epidemiological and economic advice to the Scottish Government in preparation for and in response to, animal disease outbreaks. The consortium will continue to carry out applied, policy-responsive work as well as longer term, curiosity-driven research. 

EPIC is a collaborative, interdisciplinary-research consortium comprising six major partner organizations: the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, the Moredun Research Institute, Scotland's Rural College, the University of Glasgow, Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, the James Hutton Institute.

Members of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases at the Roslin Institute will be taking the lead on improving veterinary surveillance (Dr Mark Bronsvoort, Dr Gustaf Rydevik and Dr Sam Lycett), analyses of disease control options (Dr Thibaud Porphyre) and horizon scanning for disease threats (Dr Paul Bessell). Through EPIC, Roslin staff will be providing expertise and the highest-quality scientific evidence to policy makers both in advance of a disease outbreak and during any animal disease emergency.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

Scotland is globally renowned as a land of science and innovation, and this funding will ensure we maintain our position at the very cutting edge of advances in agriculture, food and the environment.

The Scottish Government continues to be a major funder of research in these fields, investing almost £50 million a year in research into crop science, animal health and welfare, human health and wellbeing and global challenges like food security and climate change.

Our continued support will ensure Scotland will remain at the forefront of ground-breaking advances that have the potential to transform farming and food production in this country and across the world – building on the successes already achieved.”

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