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SmartCow research network to promote innovation in the sector

Agrimetrics is playing a key role in Smart Cow, a French-led research consortium of scientists and technological experts who will be seeking new innovative solutions on cattle husbandry – and environmental impacts.
Agrimetrics is playing a key role in Smart Cow, a French-led research consortium of scientists and technological experts who will be seeking new innovative solutions on cattle husbandry – and environmental impacts.

The consortium, created by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), includes a network of 3,500 cattle, 10 institutes and spanning 30 pan-European projects. Agrimetrics is providing its data expertise and capabilities to manage the vast amount of high value data being generated in order to deliver:
  • Methods and proxies for evaluating feed efficiency and animal gas emissions
  • New protocols to reduce the use of animals
  • New methods to exploit sensor data for cattle husbandry

Professor Richard Tiffin, Chief Scientific Officer for Agrimetrics, explains its role: "The SmartCow research network will generate a significant amount of valuable data. Agrimetrics will create integrated data sets, increasing significantly the range of analyses that can be conducted. For example, it will be possible to combine data from different methane emission sensors to improve our understanding of how diet affects the release of this greenhouse gas from dairy farms."

The INRA research infrastructure of ten research institutes brings together scientific and technical skills in animal nutrition, genetics, health and welfare, data management and knowledge transfer. Sensors and automatic recordings of physiological and behavioural traits.

In the UK the SRUC's Beef & Sheep Research Centre, SRUC's Dairy Research Centre, and the University of Reading Centre for Dairy Research are also involved.

Rene Baumont, SmartCow project coordinator, comments: "SmartCow will increase access to the most advanced research facilities and equipment for the cattle sector across Europe. It aims to improve the quality and ethics of cattle research through identification and promotion of best practices, new measurements techniques, and smart technologies."

Professor Richard Dewhurst at SRUC comments: "SRUC is delighted that both its Beef Research facilities based near Edinburgh and its Dairy Research facilities at Dumfries are part of this major European infrastructure; we look forward to welcoming industry and academic groups to conduct exciting new research projects at our facilities."

For more information contact Sabrina Gasser at sabrina.gasser@inra.fr, or visit www.ara.inra.fr