8 March 2002

Director outlines plans in CEDAR-ADAS launch

By Jessica Buss

THE amalgamation of more livestock research centres is essential to cut the amount of money wasted in unsuccessful bids for funding, according to the director of CEDAR-ADAS Reading.

Speaking at the official launch of the new research organisation, its director David Beever said that together with other university departments the new group had much to offer. This included working with Reading Universitys human nutritionists.

The new organisation follows ADASs decision to close Bridgets, in Hants, which housed 800 cows at peak. Some staff and research projects will be relocating to Reading on Apr 1. In a more recent announcement, ADAS Draytons Nutrition Sciences Research Unit, with its lab facilities, will also relocate to Reading University to work closely with CEDAR-ADAS.

These moves mean there will be less competition for livestock research projects, but Prof Beever believed this was good news for those bidding for scarce research funds. "It costs a huge amount to bid for funding, more than is received for some projects. Some competition is good, but it has been too fierce."

Also addressing the meeting, Angela Moss of ADASs nutritional sciences unit said that more collaboration between research organisations was needed.

This would allow parts of research to be completed at the most relevant centres and ensure all results were made public. She believes this is not always the case at present with limited funding encouraging organisations to keep results from their competition. "A consortium approach where funding body budgets were shared would produce better results," said Dr Moss.

Responding to her appeal, DEFRAs David Garwes explained that it encouraged collaboration and consortium bids for research funds, both for fully-funded projects and match-funded projects through the LINK programme.

Brian Lindsay of MDC added that it was important the best organisations were selected to complete projects and that it also encouraged collaboration. "We must deliver what the producer needs, without wasting money."

It was essential for research to continue, said Prof Beever. Research has a role in improving the image and competitiveness of the UK livestock industry, providing it is well co-ordinated, supports quality science, avoids duplication and addresses both short and long term needs.

"There are still many questions to be answered." &#42


Wide range of projects possible.

Fewer organisations better.

Money wasted on bidding.