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.
SMARTER will develop and deploy innovative strategies to improve Resilience and Efficiency (R&E) related traits in sheep and goats.
SMARTER will find these strategies by: i) generating and validating novel R&E related traits at a phenotypic and genetic level ii) improving and developing new genome-based solutions and tools relevant for the data structure and size of small ruminant populations, iii) establishing new breeding and selection strategies for various breeds and environments that consider R&E traits. SMARTER with help from stakeholders chose several key R&E traits including feed efficiency, health (resistance to disease, survival) and welfare. Experimental populations will be used to identify and dissect new predictors of these R&E traits and the trade-off between animal ability to overcome external challenges. SMARTER will estimate the underlying genetic and genomic variability governing these R&E related traits. This variability will be related to performance in different environments including genotype-by-environment interactions (conventional, agro-ecological and organic systems) in commercial populations. The outcome will be accurate genomic predictions for R&E traits in different environments across different breeds and populations.
SMARTER will also create a new cooperative European and international initiative that will use genomic selection across countries. This initiative will make selection for R&E traits 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 R&E traits and trade-offs and balance economic, social and environmental challenges. The overall impact of the multi-actor SMARTER project will be ready-to-use effective and efficient tools to make small ruminant production resilient through improved profitability and efficiency.
SMARTER is coordinated by INRA (Dr. Carole Moreno-Romieux) and assembles 27 partners from 13 different countries and has received a funding from the European Commission (through the H2020-SFS-15-2016-2017)) for a project period of 4 years (2018-22).
To learn more, visit their website (https://www.smarterproject.eu/).
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.