The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Hillsborough has been confirmed as a founder member of the newly created UK wide Centre of Innovation and Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).
CIEL is an industry-lead initiative whose key function will be to conduct research to advance the UK livestock sector across production, genetics, feed and technology.
This exciting new research hub brings together the UK’s foremost livestock research providers, with AFBI benefitting from significant capital investment. The Centre also involves 15 large UK agri-food businesses, including a number of large retailers.
CIEL has been awarded funding to the value of £27M from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills through their Agri Catalyst, Innovate UK funding scheme. With direction from industry, CIEL will invest this funding across its research organisations to enhance research skills, capability and capacity to drive innovation and competitiveness in the agri-food industry.
CIEL will invest £3.6M at AFBI Hillsborough to provide new state of the art research equipment across the dairy, beef, sheep and pig research facilities.
This substantial investment will support development of existing livestock research facilities at Hillsborough and opens up new opportunities for AFBI to work together with other leading research organisations including the universities of Edinburgh, Leeds, Nottingham, Newcastle, Aberystwyth, Bristol, Queen’s and Harper Adams and Rothamsted, SRUC, FERA and Dunchy College.
Dr Elizabeth Magowan, who will lead AFBI’s membership of CIEL, commented: “It is particularly pleasing to see AFBI being recognised among the leading livestock-based research organisations in the UK and alongside key manufacturing, processing and retail organisations. CIEL has the potential to bring transformational change to UK livestock production and AFBI’s important role will be to ensure the research focus and discoveries will also benefit the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland”.
Local industry is also well represented in CIEL with Devenish Nutrition, Dunbia and AgriSearch also becoming founder members.