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    Ground-breaking livestock innovation centre launched

    Posted 11 March 2016

    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.”

    A new £70 million innovation centre will bring together the food industry and academic researchers to transform the productivity of the UK livestock industry.

    The Centre of Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIELivestock) has been allocated £27.7 million funding from the Government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to set up state-of-the-art facilities across the UK, providing the livestock industry with world-beating access to research.

    Additional funding from industry and the participating research institutions will bring total investment to £70 million.

    Speaking as the Centre was officially handed over from Innovate UK, Sam Hoste, Interim Chief Operating Officer of CIELivestock, said: “CIEL’s objective is to increase the economic performance of UK farming and associated industries by £12 for each £1 spent in research. 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 universities of Edinburgh (The Roslin Institute), Leeds, Nottingham, Newcastle, Aberystwyth, Bristol, Queens (Belfast) and Harper Adams University are receiving investment from CIEL, as well as the UK’s leading research institutes including 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). Private sector companies across the livestock and food industries have also been key to its development, and associate members signed up to support CIEL at its inception include Agrisearch, BSAS, BSAS Industry Association, Cranswick Country Food plc, Devenish Nutrition Ltd, Dunbia Ltd, ForFarmers UK Ltd, Origin Group Holdco Ltd, RAFT Solutions Ltd and XLVets UK Ltd.

    Huge amounts of direction and support has also been given from AB Agri, Tesco, Stonegate, The Cooperative Group, Zoetis, Genus plc, and Alltech.

    CIELivestock is part of a family of centres launched by the Government, which includes Agrimetrics, the Centre for Crop Health and Production (CHAPS) and Agri-EPI (EPI).

    Nick Major, Corporate Affairs Director of ForFarmers and CIEL Interim Board Chairman, said: “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.”

    CIEL will:

    •Provide the UK livestock sector with all of the research capability that it needs on its own doorstep through one entry point, so the industry does not have to go abroad to do work and/or wait for work done overseas to be translated for a UK market

    •Provide an uplift in livestock productivity and exports for the UK and speed rates of innovation and discovery in livestock R&D

    •Encourage improvements in equipment, products and services, working with industry partners to translate new research outputs into practical and exploitable solutions

    •Encourage and support SME start-up businesses, who can deliver innovation with agility and timeliness

    •Increase the UK’s productivity potential by translating research findings into improved food products and promoting best practice and training, using the industry and academic networks already embedded in CIEL

    •Work with industry and academia to provide succession solutions from undergraduate training to post graduate study, coaching the industry innovators and leaders of the future

    Senior leaders across the UK food industry are backing the centre:

    Kim Matthews, Head of R&D, AHDB Beef and Lamb: “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. Bringing together many of the world’s leading animal scientists to work together on problems faced by the livestock sector will catalyse new approaches to help our levy payers to improve the sustainability of their businesses. CIEL will be well placed to deliver AHDB’s R&D programmes.”

    Richard Kennedy, Group CEO Devenish Nutrition, added: “Devenish Nutrition owes its success to research and innovation conducted in collaboration with leading UK academics and we look forward to CIEL contributing to the future development of Devenish Nutrition. I am confident that 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.”

    CIEL will be head-quartered at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus near York. It will be hosting a day specifically for industry members in May 2016 and a wider industry conference in the Autumn. Details of these events and the Centre in general will be posted on the website:

    All media enquiries should be directed to Sophie Throup on 07854 063384


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