A digital dairy project led by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has received £50,000 in seedcorn funding to help it to create a more efficient and resilient dairy industry.
The government funding comes from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) £236 million Strength in Places Fund (SIPF).
Richard Dewhurst, head of the Dairy Research Centre in SRUC’s South and West Faculty, will lead the Digital Dairy Value-Chain for South-West Scotland and Cumbria project.
The initiative will bring together a consortium of research partners and regional and multi-national dairy-processing companies, including Arla, Lactalis Mclelland, Dale Farm and First Milk. It will also involve seven enabling technology companies.
The Strength in Places project will produce a detailed application aimed at establishing South-West Scotland and Cumbria as the leading region for advanced, sustainable and high-value dairy processing.
By using digital twinning, combining digital communications and advanced manufacturing, the initiative will enable the tracing of milk and other dairy products to provide assurance to retailers, wholesalers and consumers.
Professor Wayne Powell, principal and chief executive of SRUC, said: “We are delighted to join forces with the University of Strathclyde, the University of the West of Scotland and other consortium partners, to bring about a step change in research and innovation in dairy production and processing.
“In the long term, this project will bring much-needed jobs and economic activity to this rural area.”
SIPF panel chair, Dame Kate Barker, said: “We are pleased to recommend this bid for early-stage funding. It provides evidence of excellent research that meets business need and great potential for collaboration, by bringing together a consortium to contribute to increased growth and productivity in areas of local economic activity.”
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