Wetenschap - 11 april 2012

Breeders want to concentrate R&D activities on campus

Four major breeding companies want to bring their R&D activities together under a new centre on Wageningen campus. This is stated in the innovation contract of the Agrofood top sector.

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These companies are CRV (cattle), Hendrix Genetics (poultry and pigs), Topigs (pigs) and Cobb Europe (poultry). With a total annual expenditure of  40 million euros in research & development, these companies have decided to join forces in R&D activities. Together with the Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre of the university, they will  participate in the new innovation programme Breed4Food, a public-private joint venture.  Because of this close cooperation, the companies are setting their sights on concentrating their R&D activities on the Wageningen UR Campus.
The breeding companies will together invest 10 million euros per year on pre-competitive and high-riskresearch.  An example is genomic selection, from which the companies can obtain useful information from big and complex databases for their breeding programmes.
Whether the government will match this investment with public research funds is still uncertain. The private sector has submitted innovation plans totalling 184 million euros to the Agrofood top sector, but Minister Verhagen has only 72 million euros of government co-financing funds available. The top sector and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation have yet to decide which projects are eligible for co-finance.

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