A group setting up a national “hub” of research and development for pigs and poultry is calling on interested parties for their input.

The hub is an ambitious project to take advantage of the government’s Agritech strategy funding to create a “monogastric centre of excellence” to drive research and development.

It is envisaged the project will eventually link up existing science facilities in the UK, and could provide practical facilities for pre-commercial research.

An “expression of interest” has been drawn up, and the next stage is a meeting open to anyone interested in the project to help shape a more formal submission to government.

See also: Poultry industry urged to win share of Agritech fund

A steering group will seek £20m in funding from industry, to be matched by a pot of public funding made available for agricultural research.

The first meeting will be held at the Food and Environment Research Centre (Fera), near York, on 14 November, and will run from 10.30am to 4.00pm.

Stewart Houston, chairman of a steering group set up to develop the centre, urged people to get involved. “By necessity, the steering group has had to move quickly to meet the government’s timescale to submit an expression of interest.

“It is important, however, to ensure the monogastric centre of excellence is inclusive and genuinely represents the interests and ambitions of the pig and poultry sectors and of all of those organisations and institutions that can contribute.”

He added that, following the meeting on 14 November, a detailed business plan would be drawn up for the scheme, to be submitted to government before the deadline in June 2015.

Those wanting more details should email andrew.knowles@bpex.ahdb.org.uk