About Forth ERA

The Forth Environmental Resilience Array (Forth-ERA) will create a living laboratory and provide environmental data and analytics for the Forth Valley region. We will facilitate world-leading scientific research, promote more efficient environmental management and regulation, and stimulate business innovation in support of Scotland’s transition to a net zero carbon society.

View of Dumyat behind Airthrey Loch

Our objectives

  • Position Scotland and the Forth Valley region as a global leader in, environmental monitoring, earth observation and green data to support the just transition.
  • Design and operate a world class “digital twin” catchment infrastructure, supporting the green recovery at a regional level, ensuring its outputs are of value to support regional transformation.
  • Provide a single point of access to open environmental data and analytics for the Forth Valley region (For Science, Business and Communities).
  • Facilitate world leading research and innovation to support the net zero transition (locally, nationally, and globally)
    Create the evidence to support regional climate solutions that can be scaled and replicated.
  • Stimulate enterprise, entrepreneurship & innovation in new green technologies and data solutions.
  • Provide a long-term climate asset for multiple stakeholders to utilise to inform and influence decision making, regulation and policy.
  • Support and Promote Climate Citizenship across the region through the delivery of skills, employability, and educational opportunities through the region

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.

As a global exemplar of green recovery, which is easily scaled and could be replicated elsewhere, the programme 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.

The Forth-ERA programme is the first flagship programme 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.

Partnering for productivity

Forth ERA has been established through a partnership between the University and BT, with EE’s powerful 5G network allowing the rich data to be captured and processed. It is co-designed and co-developed with a wide range of regional partners, to ensure the platform delivers regional value.  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. 

The system provides an open data resource centre, a ‘living lab’ that allows real-time analysis of environmental data and analytics across the Forth river estuary. The Forth is 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, support local businesses, public and private sector partners, 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

In the first phase of the programme we demonstrated 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.

These included:

  • 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
  • provide real time data on water temperature to help inform the brewing and distilling sector

Over the next two years, the programme will expand significantly to develop a full catchment design, enabling that critical system scale understanding and providing real time data sets on multiple themes including:

  • carbon landscapes
  • climate extremes
  • protecting biodiversity
  • clean air
  • sustainable waters
  • engaging citizens

For example, we will help to support a wide range of regional parameters including: peatland restoration, water quality/quantity, flooding, air quality, bathing quality and support emerging themes in biodiversity. In doing so, the programme will support communities, local businesses and public sector partners, helping to drive forward a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery.

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