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SmartCow: an integrated infrastructure for increased research capability and innovation in the European cattle sector
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 730924 Call for proposal: H2020-INFRAIA-2017-1-two-stage
Funded under: H2020 | RIA Overall Budget: 4,999,940 EURFunder Contribution: 4,999,940 EUR
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SmartCow integrates key European cattle research infrastructures, to promote their coordinated use and development and thereby help the European cattle sector face the challenge of sustainable production. Covering all the relevant scientific fields and the diversity of cattle types and production systems, SmartCow will provide the academic and private research communities with easy access to 11 major research infrastructures from 7 countries (18 installations) of high quality services and resources. These are needed to develop innovative and ethical solutions for efficient use of animal and feed resources that promote animal welfare and healthy livestock, as well as sustainable competitiveness. SmartCow combines strong scientific and technical skills in animal nutrition (in vivo methods for nutrient utilisation and emissions measurements), genetics (genotyped animals, phenotyping capabilities), health and welfare (sensors and automatic recordings of physiological and behavioural traits) and ethics in animal experimentation. A central promotion and management of transnational access to the research infrastructures will provide access to around 10,000 cow.weeks and facilitate up to 33 research projects involving 59 users. Networking activities will harmonise and standardise procedures especially in animal care and measurements, design of experiments, data recording and analysis thanks to a cloud-based data-platform specifically developed in the project. Joint research activities will produce refined methods and proxies to evaluate feed efficiency and emissions, develop new protocols to reduce the use of animals and produce new methods to exploit sensor data for cattle husbandry. Promotion of transnational access and dissemination of SmartCow outcomes and innovations for maximum impact will be supported by a Stakeholder Platform composed of pre- and post-farm gate industry, farmer organisations, NGOs, policy makers at national and EU levels.

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