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Enhancing collaboration in research for Livestock

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Improving technology transfer to farmers

An EU-funded project has established online platforms to improve technology transfer to pig farmers.

Climate Change and Environment

Academic and industrial research generates large amounts of knowledge and technology (K & T) that often does not reach end users. This is particularly true in the case of agricultural sciences. The 'Enhancing collaboration in research for livestock' (RTD2FARM) initiative brought farmers and farmers' associations together with the scientific community to improve K & T transfer. The project focused on pig farming, Europe's largest livestock sector, in Belgium, Italy and Austria. Initially, information was gathered and collated from both researchers and farmers. A farmer's survey served to identify the needs of farmers in terms of technology transfer. Based on these assessments, researchers designed the virtual European Centre for Excellence in Pig Sciences (EUCEPS) . It consists of two online platforms: Wikipigs and PigSci. Wikipigs is an innovation platform that provides an overview of current research and allows direct interaction between researchers and farmers. PigSci is a learning platform that provides farmers access to the collected knowledge of RTD2FARM, translated into a range of languages. RTD2FARM has shown that K & T transfer to farmers is fragmented and generally occurs on an ad hoc basis. But its solution, the EUCEPS initiative, should ensure that research extends to all stakeholders.

Keywords

Pigs, farmers, knowledge and technology transfer, innovation platform, learning platform

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Climate Change and Environment

2 April 2014