Major sector support: Digital dairy project awarded £21m

10-09 | |
Digital Dairy Value-Chain will help to deliver more jobs in the sector, alongside stimulating research and innovation to support our farmers to develop their businesses. Importantly, it will also help to decarbonise the industry,  says Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC. Photo: Michel Zoeter
Digital Dairy Value-Chain will help to deliver more jobs in the sector, alongside stimulating research and innovation to support our farmers to develop their businesses. Importantly, it will also help to decarbonise the industry, says Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC. Photo: Michel Zoeter

A digital dairy project that has been awarded £21m in funding will work with the dairy industry to develop and implement technologies. Digital Dairy Value-Chain could generate an additional £60m a year for a region which produces nearly 2 billion litres of milk a year.

According to Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the project aims to create 600 new jobs in South-West Scotland and Cumbria and is led by SRUC.

Globally, the industry produces around 3% of greenhouse gases related to human activity. As well as helping to decarbonise the region’s dairy industry, the project will help develop and retain a skilled and innovative workforce in the area to create new products and new ways of working.

These will be special to the region but also globally relevant in best practices and changing the perception of dairy as a high-value product.

“Digital Dairy Value-Chain will help to deliver more jobs in the sector, alongside stimulating research and innovation to support our farmers to develop their businesses. Importantly, it will also help to decarbonise the industry,” says Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC. Photo: Michel Zoeter

“Digital Dairy Value-Chain will help to deliver more jobs in the sector, alongside stimulating research and innovation to support our farmers to develop their businesses. Importantly, it will also help to decarbonise the industry,” says Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC. Photo: Michel Zoeter

Technologies in dairy

The project team will work with the dairy industry to develop and implement technologies for sensing and data handling, as well as infrastructure to support innovation and growth for local businesses, nurturing young entrepreneurs and teaching and training of new skills and capabilities. It will deliver advanced manufacturing processes to create a fully integrated and traceable supply chain as well as help businesses to develop new products and explore new markets.

Digital Dairy Value-Chain will help to deliver more jobs in the sector, alongside stimulating research and innovation to support our farmers to develop their businesses. Importantly, it will also help to decarbonise the industry.

At one end of the chain, farmers are increasingly able to monitor their cows and feeds, their environment and the milking process, while there are also possibilities for sensing and use of data in smart factories producing more and better dairy products.

After receiving £21.3m from the UK Research and Innovation Strength in Places fund, the project will be based at SRUC’s Barony campus near Dumfries, as well as at sites in Cumbria and across South-West Scotland.

Jobs and innovation in dairy

“Digital Dairy Value-Chain will help to deliver more jobs in the sector, alongside stimulating research and innovation to support our farmers to develop their businesses. Importantly, it will also help to decarbonise the industry,” said Professor Wayne Powell, principal and chief executive of SRUC.

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UK Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, said: “The fantastic work the Digital Dairy Value-Chain is doing shows that science and innovation is not just for Silicon Valley start-ups, but for dairy farmers, too. By using the latest technology for sensing and data handling, the industry will create jobs and opportunity across South-West Scotland and Cumbria.”

Solloway added that the £21.3 million investment is part of the UK government’s Innovation Strategy.

Working with partners operating in the region, including the University of Strathclyde, University of the West of Scotland, CENSIS, First Milk, Lactalis UK & Ireland, Kendal Nutricare, Cows & Co Group, National Milk Records and SmartSTEMS, the project will provide a platform for research and business innovation in advanced, sustainable, high-value production and processing.

Source and more info: SRUC

Van Dijk
Zana Van Dijk Editor Dairy Global