Efforts to improve the sustainability of livestock production will be boosted by a new research partnership.
The agreement between the University of Edinburgh and Genus - an industry leader in applying genetics expertise to livestock production - will look at how genetics can improve the health and welfare of production animals.
This approach could include identifying genes that provide resistance to disease, to improve the quality of bred livestock and help ensure sustainable food production for a growing global and increasingly urban population.
The partnership is a strategic investment and provides substantial funding for three years to support both existing and future collaborative research projects between Genus and The Roslin Institute and The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh. It will also fund educational initiatives.
The Roslin Institute, which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, undertakes research focused on the health and welfare of animals, and applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security.
Professor David Hume, Director of The Roslin Institute, said: "This new partnership underpins our world-leading position in the field of livestock improvement and is central to our Institute strategy of engaging with industry to ensure the maximum impact from our research.
"It provides a collaborative platform to translate insights from basic research on genetics and genomics directly into the improvement of the health and welfare of production animals."
Genus is a world leader in improvement of pork, beef and dairy animal production through development of new technologies in animal breeding.
Dr Dave McLaren, Director of Research at Genus, said, "The signing of this partnership agreement represents a major milestone in our institutional relationship and is clear recognition that, here at Genus, we recognise the benefits of working with a world-leading research organisation such as The Roslin Institute to progress our vision of pioneering animal genetic improvement to help nourish the world."
Research undertaken within the partnership will work towards the global objective of improving food security at a time when it has been acknowledged that there must be a sustainable improvement in livestock productivity.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by Government, and with an annual budget of around £500M (2012-2013), we support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.