The US-Ireland Research and Development (R&D) Partnership, a research alliance between Northern Ireland, Ireland, and United States, has recently announced £750,000 of funding to three agri-food research projects to tackle some of the global challenges facing the agri-food sector.
The research projects include targeted genome editing to enhance genetic resistance to mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic cattle populations; development and validation of an on-farm, electronic disease diagnosis platform for cattle; and improved animal husbandry through inhibition of microbial bile salt hydrolase.
The US-Ireland Research and Development (R&D) Partnership has awarded funding of £60.41m ($88.42m/€73.22m) to 49 research projects across a wide range of sectors since it was first launched 13 years ago.
Established in 2006, the US-Ireland R&D Partnership is a tri-jurisdictional alliance which aims to promote collaborative innovative research projects that create value above and beyond individual efforts.
Each jurisdiction is offered a unique opportunity to advance research interests in prioritised areas such as agriculture; energy and sustainability; health; nanoscale science and engineering; sensors and sensor networks; and telecommunications.
The US-Ireland Research and Development (R&D) Partnership is led by a steering group of senior representatives from each jurisdiction, with InterTradeIreland providing the secretariat for the group on the island of Ireland.
Grainne Lennon, International Funding and Collaborations Broker, InterTradeIreland discusses the Partnership and the positive impact it is having:
“The US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership helps to stimulate higher levels of innovation in Northern Ireland and accelerate both economic development and leading-edge research. By collaborating we are pooling research expertise from academic institutes in Northern Ireland, Ireland and the United States and leveraging additional investment to support projects that will undoubtedly benefit each of our jurisdictions.
“The Partnership has made 49 research awards and approved over £60million of funding to a wide range of projects since it was first launched 12 years ago. It is a tangible legacy of the peace process and despite the current uncertainty surrounding Brexit, tri-jurisdictional collaborations are still very much taking place.”
The three agri-food research awards were:
TARGET-TB: Targeted genome editing to enhance genetic resistance to Mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic cattle populations – Queen’s University Belfast in partnership with University College Dublin and Acceligen/Recombinetics, Inc. The control of infection by Mycobacterium bovis, the cause of bovine tuberculosis (TB), is a huge financial burden to the agricultural sector. The aim of the ‘TARGET-TB’ project is therefore to reduce the impact of bovine TB. The approach involves the harnessing of naturally occurring genetic variation to generate cattle that are more resistant to TB.
AgriSense II: Development and validation of an on-farm, electronic disease diagnosis platform for cattle – Queen’s University Belfast in partnership with Tyndall National Institute and Georgia Institute of Technology. This collaborative research program will develop electronic sensors for on farm disease diagnosis in cattle. The sensor platform will seek to simultaneously diagnose multiple infectious agents within minutes and will focus initially on detecting viral diseases of critical importance to health and performance of beef and dairy animals in Northern Ireland, Ireland and United States. Such rapid and simultaneous on-farm screening for a range of diseases will enable more informed and targeted treatment of infections increasing herd health and performance.
NAGpro: Improved Animal husbandry through Inhibition of Microbial Bile Salt Hydrolase –Queen’s University Belfast in partnership with University College Cork and University of Tennessee propose to develop novel non-antibiotic growth promoters that will enhance weight gain in chickens to significantly improve yield, enhance profitability and deliver a product of enhanced quality to the consumer.
For more information on US-Ireland Research and Development (R&D) Partnership log onto https://intertradeireland.com/innovation/us-ireland-rd-partnership/