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Curious cows. © INRA, MAITRE Christophe

An integrated infrastructure in the European cattle sector is born!

INRA, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, won the call for the European project INFRA-IA, for its proposal of integrating research infrastructures (RIs) for increased research capability and innovation in the European cattle sector: SmartCow. The kick off meeting of this infrastructure will take place in Clermont-Ferrand, from February 19 to 21 2018.

Updated on 03/15/2018
Published on 02/19/2018

The main European research actors involved in this project

The SmartCow project mobilises 10 research institutions (see the map below), 1 international organization promoting knowledge exchange for animal science (EAAP), 1 technical institute working on livestock farming (IDELE), 1 SME specialised in big data for the Agri-food industry (AgriMetrics) and 1 company specialised in project management and technology transfer (INRA Transfert). Scientific and technical skills in animal nutrition, genetics, health and welfare, data management and knowledge transfer will be combined to i) develop RIs and stakeholder networks in the cattle sector to improve research practice and foster innovation; ii) offer transnational access to the most advanced research facilities and equipment for the cattle sector; and iii) improve quality and ethics of cattle research through identification and promotion of best practices, new measurements techniques, and smart technologies.

Challenges and cross-cutting issues. © INRA


A network of 3500 cattle!

SmartCow combines strong scientific and technical skills in animal nutrition (in vivo reference methods for nutrient utilisation and emissions measurements), genetics (genotyped animals, phenotyping capabilities), health and welfare (sensors and automatic recordings of physiological and behavioural traits). A central promotion and management of transnational access to the RIs will provide access to around 2500 dairy and 1000 beef cattle and facilitate up to 30 research projects and 60 users to be financed by the European programme (H2020). Networking activities will harmonise and standardise procedures especially in: animal care and measurements, design of experiments, and data recording. Joint research activities will produce refined methods and proxies to evaluate feed efficiency and emissions, develop new protocols to reduce the use of animals and produce new methods to exploit sensor data for cattle husbandry.


Smartcow partners. © INRA
Smartcow partners © INRA


Smartcow and INRA
- René Baumont, scientist in the Joint Research Unit for Herbivores is the project coordinator
- 2 INRA experimental units are involved in all the activities of Smartcow (Herbipôle in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and Le Pin in Normandy).
Press Relations:
INRA News Office (+33 (0)1 42 75 91 86), Sabrina Gasser / Head of communication and mediaINRA Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (+33 (0)4 73 62 40 35)
Associated Centre(s):
Auvergne Rhône-Alpes