Forth Environmental Resilience Array

The Forth Environmental Resilience Array (Forth-ERA) will enable a regional living laboratory across the Forth Valley, providing businesses and organisations access with real-time environmental data. The multi-million-pound environmental monitoring project, led by the University of Stirling, has been co-designed in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders.

Launched in September 2020, phase one of the project will see a state-of-the-art monitoring system, made possible through the latest 5G infrastructure, use sensors, satellite data and artificial intelligence to provide vital information on water quality and other critical factors, informing decision making, helping businesses to adopt more sustainable practices, supporting policy and regulation and building community resilience.

View of Forth Valley from Dumyat

Sustainable economic recovery

As Scotland works towards its ambitious target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040, the innovative approach of Forth-ERA will be transformative, driving sustainable economic recovery on a local, regional and ultimately global scale. 

Partnering for productivity

Phase one of Forth-ERA is funded through a partnership between the University and BT, with EE’s powerful 5G network allowing the rich data to be captured and processed. This is complemented by a web-based software platform and toolkit designed by 3DEO, which provides a single point of access to real-time environmental data and analytics.

Taken together, the system presents researchers with a ‘living lab’, allowing real-time analysis of environmental data and analytics across the Forth river estuary, an area with a diverse economic footprint: from agricultural landscapes to urban residential areas and heavy industry. The ability to analyse live data on this scale will facilitate world-leading scientific research, promoting further efficiencies in environmental management and regulation, and stimulating business innovation in support of Scotland’s transition to a net zero carbon society.

Sustainable solutions

The initial phase of the project will demonstrate how providing additional information on the quality and quantity of water across the continuum of inland to coastal waters can support and inform the actions of businesses and regulators across the Forth Valley.

Working with an initial cohort of organisations in the region, the University’s researchers will demonstrate how the platform can be used to provide additional ways to monitor water quality in drinking water reservoirs; provide near real-time forecasts of bathing water quality; provide early warning and monitoring of floods; and provide real time data on water temperature to help inform the brewing and distilling sector. In doing so, the project will support communities and employers, helping to drive forward a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery.

Global impact

The technology being deployed through Forth-ERA can be applied in a wide range of settings and across multiple sectors: from agriculture and fisheries, and food and drink, to shipping and navigation, biodiversity and conservation, oil and gas, renewables and low carbon, green tourism and heritage, local and national governance and public health.

Working with Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, researchers will engage with large local employers and small to medium-sized enterprises as the project progresses, providing opportunities for research findings to feed directly into local businesses and make a meaningful contribution to the regional economy. 

As a global exemplar of green recovery, which is easily scaled and could be replicated elsewhere, the project has the potential to offer intelligent, data-led solutions as businesses, policymakers and regulators across the world make the transition to a more sustainable future.

Knowledge and insights from the Forth-ERA project will directly inform the work of Scotland’s International Environment Centre, established as part of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal. The Centre will position Scottish research and innovation at the forefront of international efforts to pursue economic productivity through a shift to cleaner, greener growth.

Work with us

Collaboration is the cornerstone of innovation. Forth-ERA offers a distinct opportunity for a range of businesses and organisations to chart a shared path to a cleaner, greener future. By working together, we harness the insights provided by live data and analytics to pioneer new solutions, and drive sustainable growth at a local, national and international level.