The tie-up with North Carolina State University (NC State) will focus on three key research areas: animal gut health, precision nutrition and data-driven decision making for animal health.
When asked why it chose NC State, DSM told FeedNavigator:
“When we set out on our search for the ideal research partner, we considered many factors such as accessibility to an international airport, excellent quality of life and a university that has respected research capabilities across multiple species. With our strong commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, another ‘must have’ was to find a partner with an existing facility with whom we could capture significant synergies through collaboration rather than building our own new animal research center. NC State has the Prestage Department of Poultry Science department, a respected animal science department and a leading vet school. When combined, these three departments provide all the tools DSM needs to continue leading the industry in innovation for animal nutrition and health.”
While past research collaborations between DSM and NC State have focused on trials in poultry and swine health, new research projects will also include animal health and production for farmed fish, cattle, small ruminants such as sheep and goats, as well as companion animals.
As part of the agreement, DSM will provide financial resources for renovations to existing animal science buildings and the development of two new buildings at NC State. It said it intends to fund NC State around $2.5m over the first three years, with the potential for more in subsequent years.
Plugging animal nutrition and health industry gaps
The company will be working with numerous experts across specialties at NC State, focusing on gastrointestinal functionality and precision nutrition.
The partners said they identified gut health, precision nutrition and digital - data-driven decisions - as the primary gaps in the animal nutrition and health industry today.
“For instance, crop sciences are far ahead of the food animal ag business in using precision data to make decisions. This partnership plans to lead the way in capturing more live performance data and utilizing all the data currently being captured to make sound decisions based on science. These decisions will improve animal welfare and reduce the cost of healthy food production,” said the DSM spokesperson.
DSM said the structure of the alliance between it and NC State makes it a progressive model for research, allowing for more consistent research in a trial-ready environment.
“Our presence on the campus will facilitate collaboration between two strong scientific teams — the university and DSM. Both bring a different perspective to the table, both strong in the understanding of current industry needs,” explained the spokesperson.
What do vitamin D and host defense peptides have to do with poultry gut health? Kimberly Livingston, assistant professor, poultry science at North Carolina State University, spoke about her interesting line of research in this respect during a FeedNavigator webinar.
The research partnership will also function as a vehicle for talent development, said the animal nutrition company.
“DSM’s presence on the university campus will allow direct contact with top student talent. We plan to fund PhD students to further develop talent — opening potential avenues to recruitment and better preparation for students in the ag industry.”