With many years of experience working with clients, we understand that each project is different. We aim to work with individuals and businesses to understand the precise knowledge needs and hence we can design bespoke research, consultancy, teaching and training or CPD solutions to match expectations.
We have and are working with organisations including the Cabinet Office, Defra, Government Office for Science, the Scottish and Welsh Governments, Environment Agency, Food Standards Agency, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales, Forestry Commission, SEPA, DECC, WRAP, AHDB, Syngenta, HGCA, 2 Sisters Food Group, Wellcome Trust and the Bluesky International Limited. Our clients also include those from international governments and their agencies, retailers, manufacturers and utility companies.
Training and capacity building
We have provided training on how to improve sustainability and future resilience to professionals within businesses such as AB Agri Ltd, Waitrose, and Bakkavör. We have contributed to International Summer Schools focused on the circular economy (Ellen MacArthur Foundation) and integrated land use (John Latsis Foundation). We have delivered risk and futures training including; 'An introduction to strategic foresight’, a 'Risk governance primer', and 'How to set up an horizon scanning function'. CRIF also provides climate change risk training to senior management teams both in the UK and internationally.
Examples of current and recent Continuing Professional Development are:
- The Business of the Environment
- Land Management
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Environmental Monitoring
- Life Cycle Assessment
- Ecological Restoration.
Consultancy and research
F3UES stands for Fragments, Functions, Flows & Urban Ecosystem Services, and the F3UES project is a research study looking at how the biodiversity of towns and cities contributes to human well-being, through the delivery of ecosystem goods and services flowing from Natural Capital. In urban areas, green space tends to be divided up into small pieces, by roads, buildings and other human uses of the land. So in order to understand how ecosystem services are provided, we need to understand what determines the functions of individual fragments of greenspace, and how these are linked together by flows of materials, organisms, and people.
CRIF provided climate risk expertise to Defra’s Adapting to Climate Change Programme, supporting implementation of the Climate Change Act (2008) Adaptation Reporting Power (ARP), engaging with over 100 high-profile organisations reporting their climate adaptation plans to Government. CRIF’s detailed analyses of risk assessment quality, climate change risks and adaptation plans and challenges facing key infrastructure operators, regulators and public bodies, underpinned Defra’s consultation on a proposed second round of the ARP.
In the Wessex-BESS project we are identifying how biodiversity contributes to human well-being in multifunctional lowland landscapes ranging from intensive arable to extensive grassland.
A recent project, funded by Defra and Seafish, has investigated the implications of marine climate change on the marine environment, highlighting the challenges that climate change poses for marine fish species and difficulties posed by data gaps and scientific uncertainties.
Collaborative research with Cefas Marine Climate Change Centre (MC3) investigated the potential impact of climate change on the East Marine Plan which has recently been published as a new Marine Management Organisation evidence report for use in future marine planning.
In the AGFORWARD project, we are working with over 800 farmers and other stakeholders across Europe to derive benefit from the appropriate integration of trees with farming. We are also helping to inform land use policy at national and European levels.
The Institute was contracted by Defra and nine partners to deliver a package of pan-government foresight research activities including regular horizon scanning, risk prioritisation/analysis, medium to large scale futures studies and end-user capacity building. This 3 year futures research programme was designed to provide the research to enable Defra and its partners to look ahead, to analyse what is seen, react to it and use that insight to strengthen strategic, policy and operational goals and approaches.
Working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and CSAFI, we have developed plausible future scenarios for the UK food and feed system until 2035. The intention was to assess the long-term challenges, identifying key trends and drivers of change for the UK food and feed system, to inform future strategic planning and to provide information against which FSA could test the resilience of policy options to possible future scenarios.
Our research into the hazards associated with emerging technologies (including nanomaterials) has been supported by RCUK and current research is concentrating on supporting the adoption of modern technology in a sustainable fashion. Current functional devices rely upon materials that are harmful to human health, in short supply or from areas that are unstable economically or socially.
MASSIVE (Manufacture of Safe and Sustainable Volatile Element Functional Materials, in consortia with other universities and industry) is supported by EPSRC to address the challenges of using more sustainable and less toxic materials within functional devices. We also consider the management of such processes, and have recently completed a project for Cefic measuring the efficiency of risk management measures.
The Institute has been instrumental in assisting government in development of guidelines to support risk assessment and management as well as providing input into the use of risk to support innovation.