The Scottish Horticultural Research Institute had its origins in the Scottish Society for Plant Breeding - a research organisation set up during World War I and sponsored by the Highland and Agricultural Society and proactive market gardeners and landowners such as R L Scarlett of Sweethope and Sir John H Milne Home of Elibank (1876-1963). During the agricultural depression of 1920-1930 a Scottish Horticultural Advisory Committee actively liaised with the Department of Agriculture for Scotland, and in 1928 the work of the Scottish Society for Plant Breeding was continued by a government grant. In 1946 a Horticultural Research Committee appointed by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland recommended that horticultural research be funded and managed on a more formal basis and as a result the Scottish Horticultural Research Institute commenced operations on 170 acres of farmland that had been acquired at Mylnefield, Invergowrie. On 1 April 1953 the Institute became legally established as a self governing grant - aided research centre officially opened on 16 June 1956. Its first director Dr Thomas Swarbrick (1900-1965) was an eminent pomologist who carried out pioneering investigations into the diseases and genetics of raspberries and strawberries.
Now known as the Scottish Crop Research Institute, this organisation continues the pioneering work of its predecessors.