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Alliances for Research Challenges

Alliances for Research Challenges (ARCs) connect Scotland’s research excellence to Scotland’s national challenges.

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ARCs aim to:

  • Coordinate the research community across disciplines, institutions and sectors.
  • Leverage additional funding into our system.
  • Connect Scottish Government priorities with areas of strength within our publicly funded research system.

Alliances for Research Challenges diagramARCs fulfil the recommendation within SFC’s Review of Tertiary Education and Research to create next-generation networks that build on our sustained investment in the Research Pooling Initiative with a focus on interdisciplinary challenge-oriented research collaboration, leveraging additional funding and fostering early career researcher communities and training.

SFC provides funding to support the following ARCs:

Scottish Alliance for Food: Health, equity and sustainability

The Scottish Alliance for Food (SCAF) is a collaborative initiative bringing together perspectives from social, natural, and applied sciences, arts and humanities, to address critical emerging research questions related to building a better food future for all.

Scottish Research Alliance for Energy, Homes and Livelihoods

The Scottish Research Alliance for Energy, Home and Livelihoods (SRAEHL) brings together researchers, industry, business, policy, and community partners to help achieve an equitable and sustainable net zero future.

Brain Health Alliance

The Brain Health Alliance aims to create and support new cross sectoral, multidisciplinary collaborations with a shared vision of improving our nation’s brain health.

Whilst each ARC will has a designated host institution as its administrative lead, these Alliances include broad representation from across the Scottish higher education sector.

Quantum Technologies (University of Glasgow)

Building on Scotland’s established strengths in quantum science and technology, the Quantum Technologies ARC seeks to catalyse the development of quantum technologies in Scotland for the benefit of society. By bringing together a broad range of stakeholders from academia and industry, to end-users and next-generation quantum workers, this ARC seeks to connect societal challenges to quantum-enabled solutions, build the skillbase needed to realise the benefits of quantum technologies, and ensure the responsible development of quantum technologies for maximal societal benefit.

Further information

For further information please contact Dr Charlotte Matheson, Senior Policy Officer, Research and Innovation, email: