That Canadian university carries out extensive animal nutrition research. It is ranked number one in Canada and seventh in the world for veterinary science, considered a leader in the fields of agriculture, animal science and food technology in Canada.
The two parties currently engage on research topics of common interest and share proprietary and/or confidential knowledge; now the partnership is becoming more strategic, said Trouw Nutrition, with it and the university looking to explore collaboration opportunities in more research fields and further leverage organizational synergies.
The goal, said the company, is to enable the acceleration of key research and development activities related to animal nutrition innovation.
Innovation through speed-dating
When asked how long Trouw Nutrition has been pooling resources with the Canadian university, Marjan Beerthuis, grants and contracts manager, Trouw Nutrition, told FeedNavigator:
“There has been incidental collaboration with different scientists within the University of Guelph for about 30 years. This ongoing collaboration was further intensified when we incorporated the animal feed division of Maple Leaf Foods [in 2007].”
The new strategic collaboration agreement means there are overarching conditions set for engaging with any scientist within the university. Confidentiality is paramount, a critical factor for establishing such partnerships and digging into the expertise of scientists, she said.
“We have regular programs set up within the university in which we have a lot of ‘speed-dating’ between our discovery leads and scientists, not only in animal science but covering all possible research fields that might be of importance to us.”
The collaboration, said the company, has already delivered important advances in the area of calf health and growth and more exciting developments are in the pipeline.
“Our LifeStart Dairy platform is one of the best examples of that. We fund the industrial research chair of Dr Michael Steele, which is very much connected to this calf research. We are currently connected to over 40 scientists in the University of Guelph.
“Dr John Doelman, our global R&D team lead in dairy, holds a position in the University of Guelph as well, where he executes research with scientists in animal biosciences as well as in human health and nutritional sciences; he also teaches in the field of dairy nutrition. Moreover, our NutriOpt model is used for teaching purposes in swine nutrition [courses at the university],” said Beerthuis.