Blockchain system for Scottish gluten-free oats wins share of £275,000 fund

A digital system to monitor gluten-free oats is among several innovative SRUC projects to share in nearly £275,000 of Scottish Government funding.

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.

Supported projects

The successful projects from SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) are:

Blockchain system for oats

A blockchain system for gluten-free oats was awarded £97,466.

The funding will support the development of a digital ledger system 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

Grampian Growers Tuberzone Project

Grampian Growers Tuberzone Project was awarded £74,712.

The money will support the set-up of an organisational group to introduce new processes and technologies in one part of the seed potato sector, encouraging farmers to adopt these new practices.

Feeding for Fertility in the Suckler Herd

A third SRUC programme titled ‘Feeding for Fertility in the Suckler Herd‘ was awarded £74,429. The 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.

Beef Marbling

In addition, the Beef Marbling Project – which is jointly delivered by the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) and SRUC – has been awarded £49,000 to use new techniques to identify the best beef animals in a herd.

‘Helping farmers meet current and future challenges’

Colin MacEwan, SRUC’s director of commercialisation and innovation, said: “Through cutting-edge innovation and world-class research, SRUC is helping farmers and other rural businesses to adopt new technologies and practices to meet current and future challenges in food production.

We are delighted to receive funding for these important projects and we look forward to working with our partners in taking them forward.

Rural Affairs 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 Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund is delivered through the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014-20.

The Scottish Rural Development Programme delivers Pillar II of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland.

The latest round of funding saw a total of six projects benefit from £438,000 of investment to drive innovation in farming and food production.