Launch of £70m UK livestock innovation centre

A new government and industry-backed £70 million livestock innovation centre has been launched in the UK with the commitment of setting up state-of-the-art facilities across the country to provide the livestock industry with world-beating access to research

The Centre of Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) has been allocated £31.7m of funding from the Government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) with additional funding from industry raising the total investment to over £70m.

“CIEL’s objective is to increase the economic performance of UK farming and associated industries by £12 for each £1 spent in research,” said CIEL’s Interim chief operating officer, Sam Hoste. “By bringing together the best research in areas such as breeding, animal health, biotechnology, feeding and genomics the centre will create a state of the art, one-stop-shop for the industry that we expect to increase productivity and drive innovation.”

The launch has already drawn enthusiastic support from the following industry leaders:

  • ForFarmers’ corporate affairs director and CIEL interim board chairman, Nick Major: “CIEL will be the global lead for livestock nutrition, health and genetics, linking transformational research for industry-led innovation with commercial farms on the ground, generating wealth and business competitiveness through the growth in profitability of the UK livestock sector.”
  • Cranswick group technical director, Andrew Caines: “I see CIEL as a fantastic opportunity to provide world class research facilities to the UK livestock and meat processing industries.”
  • Genus Chief Scientific Officer, Jon Lightner: “We are very encouraged to see the creation of CIEL and the development of state-of-the-art large animal research and testing facilities within the UK. Such facilities will provide important resources as we develop novel products over the next few years.”
  • AHDB Beef and Lamb head, Kim Matthews: “AHDB is delighted that CIEL is finally established. The investment in livestock research facilities in the UK will provide opportunities to take the next steps in animal science to deliver new tools and techniques to our farmers.”
  • Devenish Nutrition group CEO, Richard Kennedy: “I am confident CIEL will uplift the productivity and profitability of the UK’s livestock industry as a whole through the unique relationship it offers between our leading academics and diversity of industry partners which have committed to CIEL.”
  • AgriSearch general manager, Jason Rankin: “CIEL will deliver a long overdue and transformative upgrade of the UK’s livestock research capacity.”
  • BSAS chief executive, Mike Steele: “CIEL is truly game changing.”
  • RAFT Solutions chief executive, Jonathan Statham: “CIEL is hugely important.”
  • Westpoint Research head of research, Ian Nanjiani: “CIEL is ideally placed to address the challenges facing sustainable food production in the UK.”

The universities of Edinburgh (The Roslin Institute), Leeds, Nottingham, Newcastle, Aberystwyth, Bristol, Queens (Belfast) and Harper Adams will all receive investment from CIEL, as well as Rothamsted Research, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Northern Ireland (AFBI), Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Fera and Duchy College.

CIELivestock has been industry led from inception by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) with private sector support from Agrisearch, BSAS Industry Association, Cranswick Country Foods, Devenish Nutrition, Dunbia, ForFarmers, Origin Group Holdco, RAFT Solutions, XLVets UK, AB Agri, Tesco, Stonegate, The Co-operative Group, Zoetis, Genus and Alltech.

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