Research will be targeted specifically to link in with Executive policy priorities in areas including climate change, biodiversity and the environmental, social and economic sustainability of rural Scotland.
At the Scottish Agricultural College in Midlothian, Deputy Environment Minister Rhona Brankin said: 'Scotland makes a major contribution to international research into biological, agricultural and environmental advances and it is essential that this is reflected in the policies we deliver to improve the wellbeing of everyone in Scotland.
'Our research strategy will ensure that all our work is based on strong scientific evidence over the next five years.
'There is an increasing emphasis in Scotland on collaboration in research and I am therefore delighted to note an increase in partnership working between SEERAD's Research Institutes and other Institutes and Universities which has already resulted from the development of our Strategy
'This funding will build on stakeholder involvement in key policy development and encourage knowledge transfer to benefit Scotland's people.'
The SEERAD research strategy published in January 2005 set out a five year strategy to strengthen the relevance of SEERAD'S future research programme to policy development and the commissioning of these research programmes is the start of this process.