Innovation: Enhancing Collaboration In Research For Livestock

Last update: 30.06.2013
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Keywords: 
information transmission, animal husbandry, coordination, agriculture, cooperation, zoology, information analysis, life sciences, technology transfer, information and communication technology applications, innovation
RTD2Farm has a simple, yet effective strategy to increase the uptake of RTD Results by livestock farmers. RTD2Farm will be involving the three main players of the process; RTD providers (Research centres, Universities, Industry, etc), Technology Transfer experts (Networking and Training Organisations) and Farmers (End Users). RTD2Farm will analyse methods for knowledge and technology transfer, define Best Practice, and spread these. RTD2Farm has concentrated on pig farms, as they are the main animal for meat production in the EU. The process to optimise Knowledge and Technology Transfer should be transferable to other species, as the main Technologies are similar: Feed, Genetics/Breeding and Farm Management. Obviously there will be differences in the technologies, but the Knowledge and technology Transfer methods will be similar. Three regions have been selected to represent the diversity of Livestock farming Regions in the EU. Benelux has a similar These three landscapes are a
representative majority of the EU wide situation. Industry Partners will be especially keen to take these new K&T Transfer methods into their most important developing markets in the Newer Member States and beyond. A main goal of RTD2Farm is to develop Best Practice methods for a variety of K&T Transfer scenarios.. K&T Transfer from Universities has the air of being inefficient. Of course K&T Transfer by Industry is more efficient, as the research itself is very consumers oriented. The difference in the RTD developed will influence the best transfer practice. For this reason we have included both UNI and IND partners as RTD Providers in the RTD2Farm consortium to accommodate for the difference in RTD results by Universities and Industry. RTD2Farm will develop a variety of Best Practice models for Knowledge and Technology Transfer from Research to Farm. SMEs represent a major innovation engine in Europe and are the key drivers for the...

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Within various scientific projects financed by the European Union a large amount of knowledge is generated, which is only known to the scientific community and hardly translated into products. Especially in the field of agricultural sciences there is a lack of knowledge transfer from scientific groups to livestock farmers. The project RTD2FARM is concentrating on pig related science fields and pig farming. It is the aim of the project to develop an information tool for pig producers and multipliers by systematising science based information and to analyze the different ways of knowledge and technology transfer to pig producers. The project will bring together pig farmers and multipliers with the scientific community via a web-based information tool and in addition the project will introduce a Lifelong learning platform.

Within the first 12 months of the project the preliminary work for this information tool included the collection of public financed projects, a farmers? questionnaire on their information needs in the participating countries and a survey on different ways of technology transfer. Via the questionnaire the project team wanted to find out which topics are of main interest in the participating project countries.

In Austria pig nutrition, activities for decreasing piglet mortality and possible measures to raise the increase in profits and to optimize the conditions of production were identified as hot topics for the farmers. Around 65 % of the consulted farmers were satisfied with current activities of knowledge transfer, but as an additional topic 18 % would be interested to learn more about consumer behavior. Only 38 % of farmers would be willing to pay a small fee for information which should be offered for 75 % in German.

For Belgium the topics of main interest are animal welfare issues including castration and piglet mortality, the bad economic situation for pig producers and health questions. Around 76 % of the farmers feel comfortable with the current methodology of knowledge transfer, 31 % of the asked farmers prefer more information about consumer behavior. In comparison to Austria the majority of farmers, i.e. 70 %, was prepared to pay a small fee for information, which should be offered for 76 % in Dutch only, 28 % would also read English information.

The outcome of the questionnaire in Italy showed a similar picture like in Austria and Belgium. The highest ranked topics are general nutrition, decrease in piglet mortality and margin/economic situation of the farmers. In comparison to the other two countries only 20 % of the farmers are satisfied with the methodology of knowledge transfer and only 15 % of the consulted farmers would be interested in more information on consumer behaviour. Italy also shows the highest figures for information in local language (83 %) and 20 % would be willing to pay a small fee for information.

Taking into consideration the outcome of questionnaires and the collected research projects the project team developed a matrix to match farmers? needs and scientific/technology knowledge. The matrix gives an insight on how well actual research fits to present problems, but also indicates the areas, where scientific knowledge and input are lacking. In addition to the project descriptions and the farmers? needs on information the established ways of knowledge transfer were analysed. The national questionnaires showed that over all participating countries technical journals are used as a preferred source of information. The reason for that might be the expected neutral character of technical journals. The survey on regional, national and international knowledge and technology transfer techniques showed a similar picture: Knowledge transfer mainly takes place via various channels, in most cases via informal networks or established working groups or via trainings organized by various
bodies especially pig farmers? or agricultural organizations.

In the beginning the main task was to organise the knowledge and research base of the project. A cycle of research and innovation brokerage workshops was launched, to bring together the research and technical development (RTD) and offer demand in view of potential technology transfer processes. The main outputs are a database with contacts from European research communities, the first contacts between knowledge and technology providers in the national workshops and results of the national questionnaires.

Based on the evaluation of the national questionnaires a matrix was developed to match pig industry needs and the scientific results. The matrix connects scientific/technology knowledge and industry needs based on reports mapping of national pig industry, based on overview literature and magazines and on the national surveys. In addition a report was prepared on existing regional, national and international (including non-European Union) knowledge & technology (KT) transfer techniques. The report includes a general approach, summarising regional, national and international KT transfer techniques. Illustration of national implementation is given for non-European Union regions (United States of America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as other world regions), Europe and in particular the partner) countries Belgium, Austria and Italy.

Based on these preliminary results a training plan was developed. The scope of the training plan comprises an approach to transfer and match knowledge and technology (KT) opportunities towards pig farmers needs. Within the frame of the training plan different media and formats for the presentation of knowledge and exchange of experience were defined, as well as target groups identified.

Previous dissemination activities included the development of dissemination plan (gives an overview on planned activities is updated regularly), the design of a project poster, a project leaflet, a roll up, a webpage and articles in various media. Since farmers are not used to communicate in English and read English information each material like flyers, posters, questionnaires etc. has to be translated to local languages. In addition project team members took part in events on national level: ITALPIG 2011, AGRO-EXPO (Belgium), Wintertagung des Ökosozialen Forums 2012 (Austria), Landwirtschaft zwischen Wertschöpfung und Wertschätzung, Schweinetag, (Austria). On a European level the project was presented at the FP6 Q-PORKCHAIN final event, at the Whats for Lunch?-Conference and at the European Symposium on Porcine Health and the Congress Digestive Physiology of Pigs.

The aim of the project is to establish a sustainable information transfer model to stakeholders. RTD2FARM aims at sharing best practice and transferring knowledge and technology to the European pig farmer. This will increase quality and productivity of pig farming while reducing production costs. RTD2FARM supports the implementation of European standards in pig welfare and environmental assets. The project focuses on improving the cooperation of innovations between knowledge providers (universities, R&D intensive companies and SMEs) and end users (local pig farmers).

The main expected results will be:

1. improving the transfer of knowledge from research to pig farmers with a need-driven approach via an online interactive platform with relevant European pig research results. The collaborative platform allows users to share their know-how and interests and encourages pig multipliers and farmers to meet scientists and exchange knowledge.
2. bringing together pig farmers and multipliers (i.e. Farmers Associations, Veterinarian Organizations, Governmental Agencies and Trainers) with the scientific community, in order to improve the productivity and supply chains of the pig farming industry via the development of an European network of pig farming related organizations ranging from universities to farm associations.
3. organisation of national trainings for knowledge transfer between experts from research and farmers.
4. best practices for Knowledge and Technology Transfer processes and introduction of a Lifelong learning qualification system for the pig industry.

Further information could be obtained at http://www.rtd2farm.eu .

Collaboration sought: N/A

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Enhancing Collaboration In Research For Livestock

Acronym: 
RTD2FARM

Runtime: 
01.06.2011 to 31.05.2013

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

VETERINAERMEDIZINISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN

(Austria)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Ms. GREINEDER Barbara

Website: http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at

Phone: +43-1250771045

Contact

CAMPO BO' SOCIETA SEMPLICE AGRICOLA

(Italy)

Contact person: Mr. SARTORI Carlo Andrea

Phone: +39-0521284707

Contact

CENTRO RICERCHE PRODUZIONI ANIMALI - C.R.P.A. S.P.A.

(Italy)

Contact person: Ms. ROBERTA Vezzosi

Phone: +39-0522436999

Contact

DI ANDREAS MOSER RTD SERVICES -RTDS

(Austria)

Contact person: Mr. MOSER Andreas

Website: http://www.rtd-services.com

Phone: +43 664 83 33 569

Contact

ENCO SRL

(Italy)

Contact person: Mr. DE LA FELD Giampiero

Website: http://www.enco-consulting.it

Phone: +39-0817611727

Contact

EUTEMA TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT GMBH & CO KG

(Austria)

Contact person: Mr. MELZER Georg

Website: http://www.eutema.com

Phone: +4315245316

Contact

LEBENSMITTELVERSUCHANSTALT

(Austria)

Contact person: Mr. DRAUSINGER Julian

Website: http://www.lva.co.at

Phone: +43-13688555

Contact

NUTRITION SCIENCES NV

(Belgium)

Contact person: Dr. BRUGGEMAN Geert

Website: http://www.vitamex.com

Phone: +32-92802930

Contact

RATTLEROW SEGHERS HOLDING NV

(Belgium)

Contact person: Ms. THERMOTE Lies

Website: http://www.ra-se.com

Phone: +32-93450191

Contact

VERBAND OESTERREICHISCHER SCHWEINEBAUERN VEREIN

(Austria)

Contact person: Mr. MAYRINGER Georg

Website: http://www.schweine.at

Phone: +43-6642867530

Contact

VERENIGING VARKENSHOUDERS - VEVA

(Belgium)

Contact person: Ms. VANDENBERGHE Marianne

Website: http://www.veva.be

Phone: +32-92293751

Contact