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The Smart Control of Rural Renewable Energy and Storage (SCORRES) project has been shortlisted for International Collaboration of the Year in the Times Higher Awards 2018.

Professor Eddie Owens from Heriot-Watt’s School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) leads the SCORRES project, which is funded by Innovate UK.

Collaborators on the project include Auraventi Ltd, Scene Connect, Findhorn Foundation College, Auroville Consulting and the Auroville Centre for Scientific Research in Tamil Nadu, India.

The SCORRES project demonstrates how Heriot-Watt delivers international research and collaborations that find solutions at the core of global sustainability goals.

Professor Richard A. Williams

The project tackles the impact of agriculture on freshwater supply in India: 54 percent of the country faces extreme water stress, and farmers are increasingly indebted due to the volatility of crop yields and prices.

In one year, the SCORRES team trialled a cloud-based, micro-irrigation system on a farm in Tamil Nadu, India. Initial results showed that the system had a profound impact on the farm’s use of natural resources: water use reduced by up to 80 percent, and in some cases the crop yield doubled.

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “The SCORRES project demonstrates how Heriot-Watt delivers international research and collaborations that find solutions at the core of global sustainability goals.

“The project brought together Scottish technology, mathematicians and engineers, third sector consultants and Indian farmers to develop a smart irrigation system that could be used around the world.

“The Times Higher Awards are extremely competitive and the project's shortlisting is a testament to the focus and success of this project."

The Times Higher Awards 2018 will be held in London in late November.