Support from industry partners is being sought to provide “matched contributions” to sit alongside government funding for the proposed setting up of a Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).
Seen as a development which will “deliver ground-breaking science to producers to help them stay ahead”, the CIEL plan has a submissions deadline of March 27, 2015.
“Government funding is available to produce a game-change in UK agricultural science and the delivery of that science to producers under the Agri-Tech Centres of Excellence project,” said BPEX head of technical, Andrew Knowles, who is part of the team leading the bid for Agri-tech funding.
“We have formed a proposal and are hoping to secure industry support in principle for this submission by March 27. At the moment, we are keen to contact commercial partners interested in pre-competitive research to give their backing, in principle, to CIEL.”
Mr Knowles also said BPEX was seeking feedback on the submission to ensure it maintained clear industry focus and reflected the needs of the sectors it represented.
The stated focus of CIEL is to develop industry-led, commercially-sustainable innovative research and development capabilities from across the beef, sheep, pig, dairy and poultry sectors that generate wealth and business competitiveness through increased profitability of those sectors. Key objectives are:
- To target animal performance, investigating and improving robustness through the delivery of research in the applied and pre-competitive sectors accessible for all.
- To foster innovation and create globally-valued knowledge for UK operating companies.
- To invest in enhancing the existing UK research platform, expanding capacity and attracting global talent.
- To provide state-of-the-art, facilities and capabilities to address the fundamental challenges and opportunities identified by the livestock sector.