The SmartCow project mobilises 10 research institutions, 1 international organization promoting knowledge exchange for animal science (EAAP), 1 technical institute working on livestock farming (IDELE), 1 SME specialised in big data for the Agri-food industry (AgriMetrics) and 1 company specialised in project management and technology transfer (INRA Transfert). Scientific and technical skills in animal nutrition, genetics, health and welfare, data management and knowledge transfer will be combined to i) develop RIs and stakeholder networks in the cattle sector to improve research practice and foster innovation; ii) offer transnational access to the most advanced research facilities and equipment for the cattle sector; and iii) improve quality and ethics of cattle research through identification and promotion of best practices, new measurements techniques, and smart technologies.
Research on farm animals needs to address global issues such as sustainable production, food security, climate change and consumer acceptance. SmartCow will enable synergies and will therefore increase research outputs e.g. by fostering transnational access and shared use:
A central promotion and management of transnational access to SmartCow RIs will provide access to around 2500 dairy and 1000 beef cattle and facilitate up to 30 research projects and 60 users to be financed by Horizon 2020, the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Networking activities will harmonise and standardise procedures especially in: animal care and measurements, design of experiments, and data recording. 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.