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CPRC Update: July 2010

Towards a National Science Strategy


June 24, 2010
By CPRC

Topics

On May 12 and 13, approximately 60 representatives of industry, academe
and government participated in a workshop designed to examine Canada’s
current poultry research agenda and take steps towards a Science
Strategy for Canada’s poultry sector.

On May 12 and 13, approximately 60 representatives of industry, academe and government participated in a workshop designed to examine Canada’s current poultry research agenda and take steps towards a Science Strategy for Canada’s poultry sector. A cohesive science strategy that fosters collaboration and co-ordination among scientists and poultry organizations across Canada will maximize the impact of Canada’s collective investment in poultry research.

Prior to the workshop, participants were given the opportunity to review a draft Strategy document written by CPRC on behalf of the poultry sector. The document outlines national poultry research priority areas, as identified by CPRC’s members, and the desired outcomes of each area. The workshop gave participants the opportunity to comment on the appropriateness of the priorities listed, discuss gaps within each, and begin to formulate a plan on how to achieve the desired outcomes.

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The workshop began with a brief history of CPRC and its activities to date towards a national strategy. CPRC has developed programs to support poultry research and graduate student training in Canada and has hosted a number of workshops meetings and symposia designed to solicit input from stakeholders across the country on the potential role of CPRC. The overarching message from these stakeholders is that the poultry research effort in Canada needs to be more co-ordinated. We need a national voice.

Workshop participants considered trends, risks and opportunities for Canada’s poultry sector.  The planning environment in which we operate is complex and ever changing. Research focus is widening from productivity to also include such issues as sustainability, economics and animal welfare.  There is impetus to develop and adopt new technologies and produce novel products.  Globalization of populations and resources is presenting new economic and disease challenges. A successful strategy must address the complex issues facing today’s poultry sector and have the flexibility to adapt to new issues as they emerge.

Workshop participants then heard from a number of experts on current research in Canada pertaining to major national priorities, as well as gaps within these programs, and trends in related research abroad. 

Participants considered all the above information while discussing how best to frame future poultry research programs in Canada.  This was an important discussion to have and is one that will continue with stakeholders across the country as the Strategy is developed. The potential roles of CPRC, regional groups and governments were discussed. The merits of other collaborative research systems, such as the Cooperative Research Centres in Australia, were also considered.

CPRC is taking a consultative approach to developing the Strategy. Input received thus far speaks to outcome-based research programs: If we have a clear understanding of the desired outcomes of our research program, we can more effectively devise a plan to achieve them. A system based on outcomes will undoubtedly promote more interdisciplinary work. This is exactly the approach needed to address increasingly complex issues. Within this system, it is industry’s responsibility to clearly articulate to the research community what problems need to be addressed. Researchers will respond by forming teams with the appropriate expertise necessary to solve the problems. Such a system will mesh poultry science with food safety, public health, biomedical sciences, crop science, economics, social science, or any other fields of expertise necessary to address the issues of the day. Private sector, allied industries, regional industry groups and governments will all be invited to contribute.

A science strategy that brings together multidisciplinary teams, or “clusters” of scientists, to solve complex problems is an effective way to create synergies in research efforts. It is the way to make the most of available resources and will help make a strong business case for investing in Canadian poultry research. Effective investment in poultry research will breed the innovations necessary to ensure the continued success of the Canadian poultry industry. 

For more details on the workshop, including a detailed report, or any CPRC activities, please contact Gord Speksnijder at The Canadian Poultry Research Council, 483 Arkell Road, R.R. #2, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 6H8, phone: (289) 251-2990, fax: (519) 837-3584, email: info@cp-rc.ca, or visit us at www.cp-rc.ca.

The membership of the CPRC consists of the Chicken Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, the Turkey Farmers of Canada, the Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. CPRC’s mission is to address its members’ needs through dynamic leadership in the creation and implementation of programs for poultry research in Canada, which may also include societal concerns.


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