by R. Rupp
SMARTER has held the third annual meeting from 11th to 22nd of October 2021, once again by video conference because of the COVID crisis. The agenda for the remote SMARTER included 3-hours meetings per WPs with 17 to 56 participants each. The meeting gave an overview of the great work achieved during the third year of the project. Despite the sanitary crisis, many new research results were delivered recently, with 7 papers submitted in 2021. New results were presented on proxies and genetic parameters for feed efficiency, feed intake and methane emission (WP1) and for resilience traits (health such as parasite resistance, immune response and mastitis, behavior, well-being, longevity and lethal mutations) (WP2) in sheep and goat. First results from trade-off experiments created in SMARTER (milk production dairy sheep line, goat longevity lines, residual feed efficiency sheep lines) were delivered (WP3). The experiments feed two allocation models in sheep and goat (WP3 and WP7). Additionally, a method for characterising resilience based on short time responses to infection was proposed (WP3). New methods for maintaining genetic diversity in genetic conservation programs were evaluated (WP5). Also, the general use of method LR (“Linear Regression”) for evaluating bias and accuracy in small ruminant genetics was endorsed (WP5). International Evaluation in sheep and goats (WP6) has progressed. Indeed, first analyses of across-country merged data were achieved in western Pyrenean Dairy Sheep (Spain and France) and in Saanen and Alpine goats (Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland). Moreover, harmonization and wider international cooperation is being promoted by multi-lingual questionnaire that were widely shared among partners. WP4 (genetic diversity) and WP7 (balancing breeding goal) consolidate their data collection and methods before analyses can progress. Several of the new results were presented during the EAAP meeting in Davos. Five theatre presentations and two posters were undertaken by four SMARTER partners (INRAE, INIA-UY, AUTH and FiBL/QUALITAS…) All the presentations will be available on SMARTER website.
The majority of SMARTER Consortium agreed to ask for an 8-month extension (end June 2023) to allow partners to better consolidate and integrate results that were delayed because of the COVID-19 crisis. We hope that the roundtables with stakeholders (WP9) can take place in 2022 (within each country) as initially planned, as well as a face-to-face meeting in Leon before summer.
Special thanks to Jean-Paul Dubeuf for this report.
Participants in Edinburgh
Participants on remote by video-conference (Zoom)
Opening and introduction: presentation of the platform
The meeting has been opened at 16.30 Paris time.
Jean-Michel Astruc and Cesare Mosconi chaired the meeting and he briefly presented the project, informing of a preliminary meeting with the stakeholders held on 14 November by Zoom. He then introduced the reasons and the role of the stakeholder's platform, and the expected actions. A short presentation of the stakeholders was then introduced together with their range of activity for each of them.
Jean-Michel Astruc briefly summarised the steps that led to the selection of the present stakeholders, how they have been nominated (two surveys followed by email contacts with each of them). Some of them did not accept the role due to many reasons (insufficient number of staff, lack of funding, lack of specific competences, ….) and at the end 17 national and 8 trans-national stakeholders have been identified plus the 3 support stakeholders for a total of 28 organisations/companies, both academic, public or from private sector.
READ THE FULL MINUTES.
The recent meeting in Edinburgh (26-28 November) had a specific session organised with the stakeholders to develop a primary contact with them, introduce their Organisations to the WP Partners and collect their first views beneficial to the management of the project.
Such meeting has been the best opportunity to foster positive associations and interactions for the creation of a network able of keeping a uniqueness of the project but also to approaching innovation through a multi-expertise vision. The variety in the composition and in the field of actions of the stakeholders would have had a potential negative consequence on the project due to a lack of unique vision but such risk was deactivated by a shared approach and the awareness of having common interests and the recognition of being part of a single team.
The first SMARTER annual meeting will be held in Edinburgh from 26th to 27th November 2019. One year after the start of the project, the meeting will aim to take stock of the work done during the first year, discuss the first results obtained and plan the actions to be carried out for the future.
Stakeholders meetings and farm visits are planned from 28th to 29th November 2019.
Did you know that IGA is part of the SMARTER Stakeholder Committee?
Read more about it here.
What is SMARTER?
SMARTER stands for SMAll RuminanTs breeding for Efficiency and Resilience.
IGA is pleased to join the SMARTER Stakeholder Committee, to provide insight and feedback from the new “Small Ruminant Breeding for Efficiency and Resilience.” It is a new European and international initiative funded by the EU that will use genomic selection across countries. It will make selection for traits conferring efficiency and resilience both faster and more efficient. SMARTER will also characterize the phenotype and genome of traditional and underutilized breeds. Finally, SMARTER will propose new breeding strategies that utilize these traits and trade-offs and balance economic, social and environmental challenges.
Please visit the SMARTER website, and sign up for the free newsletter: https://www.smarterproject.eu/
Beth A. Miller, DVM
President, International Goat Association
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.