Canadian Poultry Magazine

CPRC Update – April 2012

By CPRC   

Features Business & Policy Emerging Trends Poultry Research Sustainability

2011 in Review

CPRC held its annual general meeting March 23, 2012, and we felt that this would be a good time to provide an update on some of our activities, programs and initiatives over the past year.

Government Presentations
CPRC made a presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture in November 2011, during the committee’s hearings on the Research and Innovation section of the Growing Forward 2 Program that takes effect in April 2013. We emphasized the value of research to the poultry industry and the importance of the participation of the Government of Canada in those activities. The federal government provides research funding through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and other government agencies, but they also have highly qualified, professional researchers on staff who conduct poultry research projects. Five of the 12 projects in the present Poultry Research Cluster are conducted by scientists with AAFC and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The federal government also has a significant communications system that can disseminate research and innovation information to the poultry industry.

CPRC made a presentation to the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry in February 2012 on the importance of research and innovation to agriculture. We included much of the information from the presentation to the House Standing Committee on the value of research but also provided examples of some CPRC research projects that have had real impacts on the sector. Of the 22 completed projects to date, some have moved on to further research, directed toward adoption by industry stakeholders, while the results of eight projects have been, or are being, adopted by farmers, processors and input suppliers.


Poultry Research Cluster
The Poultry Research Cluster, co-funded with AAFC, the PIC, and provincial governments and funding organizations, has entered its final year and preliminary results have already benefited the industry. The cluster approach does not replace single projects but it does have some positive characteristics that make it a strong research tool. A cluster is a science strategy that brings together multidisciplinary teams, or “clusters,” of scientists, to solve complex problems and to create synergies in research efforts. It is a way to make the most of available resources and supports a strong business case for investing in Canadian poultry research.

The present Poultry Research Cluster consists of 12 projects that bring together seven different universities and research organizations and 28 scientists. Research focus for the cluster has been on food safety and quality (e.g., vaccine development, avian influenza, necrotic enteritis) and poultry welfare and behaviour (leg and bone structure, toe-clipping of turkeys, feeding strategies for breeders). Preliminary results for some projects have been featured in previous updates and are available on our website in the research results section.

National Poultry Research Strategy
The draft National Poultry Research Strategy is presently being reviewed and discussed by the poultry production sector, after which it will be made available to other industry stakeholders for comment. This document is very important to both our industry and CPRC as it identifies the issues that are important to poultry producers and their industry partners, establishing CPRC’s agenda for the next several years.

CPRC Evaluation Project
CPRC has been in existence for just over a decade and approved its first research funding in 2003. The CPRC Board decided that it was a good time to review CPRC’s research funding and processes to try and determine our level of effectiveness and efficiency. The information on the eight projects that have been, or are being, adopted by industry and that were included in the Senate Standing Committee presentation, is taken from the preliminary information generated during the review of research funding.

Some other preliminary information from the evaluation includes:

  • Since 2005, when the present system was refined, Letters of Intent have been reviewed, assessed and funding approved within three months of receiving them from researchers. More than half have been approved within two months. However, the time needed to complete the review and approval has lengthened in recent years, partly because of the increasing number of proposals received.
  • Of the 22 completed projects to date, 14 per cent were completed on or before the target completion date established by the funding agreement. Half of the completed projects were completed within three months of the target date and almost three-quarters within six months of target date. Research project timelines frequently change as challenges develop in processes and data collection. CPRC has a system in place to identify delayed project completion so we can react accordingly.

More information on the results of CPRC’s evaluation will be available in coming months.

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