The Technology Strategy Board, Defra, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Government are to invest nearly £16 million (approx €18 million) in 29 major new collaborative research and development projects that will help to secure the sustainable supply of protein such as meat, fish and animal feed. A sustainable supply of such protein, for consumption by humans and animals, is essential for future food security.
The projects include innovative research and development in areas such as improving protein supply and utilisation from grassland, improving protein production from beef cattle while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing protein supply from arable crops, addressing key issues in aquaculture to improve production efficiency and investigating alternative high protein sources for animal feed.
The projects, which are all business-led, will focus on one or both of the following interrelated areas:
- Increasing the domestic supply of sustainably produced vegetable protein for feeding farmed animals, including land and marine based aquaculture, and
- Increasing the efficiency of production and sustainability of domestically supplied animal and fish protein for food.
The Technology Strategy Board will invest a total of £7.9 million i(€9 million) in the projects while Defra will provide funding totalling £5 million (€5.7 million). The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) will contribute £2.5 million (€2.8 million) to 10 of the projects while the Scottish Government will provide support worth £500,000 (€575,582) to seven projects.
The companies leading the projects are:
AB Agri Ltd (2 projects), Agrovista UK Ltd, Barenbrug UK Ltd, Beef Improvement Grouping Ltd, Bernard Matthews Ltd, Birchgrove Eggs, Carbon Sequestration Ltd, Dalehead Foods Limited, Embedded Technology Solutions Ltd, Eminate Ltd, EWOS Ltd, Faire Ltd, Farm Energy & Control Services Ltd, Germinal Holdings, H.R. Fell & Sons Ltd, JSR Genetics (2 projects), Marine Harvest Scotland Ltd, Marks and Spencer plc, National Milk Records plc, Paragonvet Ltd, Pfizer Ltd, Phytoquest Ltd, St Helen's Farm, Velcourt Ltd, Wherry & Sons Ltd (2 projects) and Yara UK Ltd.