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Keys to innovation in animal science: Genomics, big data and collaboration

Rowe, J.B., van der Werf, J. and Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 (2020) Keys to innovation in animal science: Genomics, big data and collaboration. Animal Production Science . Online early.

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As the sophistication of genomic technologies increases and their cost continues to decrease, they are becoming routine tools in livestock breeding programs and production systems. The convergence of electronic measurement systems, cloud-based computing and fast internet enable the use of powerful decision support to help automate and manage livestock production, animal welfare and quality control. The complexity of livestock production systems, combined with the challenges of producing top-quality discretionary products for consumers, means that no single organisation has the range of expertise to support coordinated development of innovation in the relevant supply chains. Collaboration between a broad spectrum of scientists and industry partners is essential to ensure well integrated input to the design and implementation of programs to deliver improvements in efficiency, quality and profit. The need for collaboration among researchers, among research organisations and with end-users has never been more important. Collaboration brings together the skills needed to manage complex problems and enables the sharing of facilities and scarce resources within Australia and internationally. However, the most important component of effective collaboration is the early engagement of end-users to contribute to the design of programs of innovation, to ensure that investment is well targeted and that there is ownership of the problem as well as the solutions delivered through research. Although the potential benefits of effective collaboration are clear, it often takes more than logic to get individuals and organisations to work together. There needs to be a significant financial incentive combined with strong industry leadership and agreed common goals. Allocating resources to establish these foundations for effective collaboration should precede any major research and development funding initiative. The present paper argues that the new face of animal science in Australia should be structured around coordinated programs of research and development, on the basis of effective collaboration.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 2020 CSIRO
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