Canada's Beef Science Cluster
The Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster is a partnership between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) to ensure that applied beef research funds are allocated to research priorities and activities that have the greatest potential to benefit the competitiveness of Canada's beef cattle industry. The BCRC, which operates as a division of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA), developed the Cluster under Growing Forward in 2009 to enhance industry leadership in developing and managing applied science and technology research plans that are aligned with industry priorities.
Core Areas of Research Focus
Collaboration and investments are focused on two core research objectives under which more specific research priorities have been established:
Improve production efficiencies: through enhanced feed and forage production, increased feed efficiency, and decreased impact of animal health and welfare issues.
Improve beef demand and quality: through reduced food safety incidents, defining quality and yield benchmarks supporting the Canadian Beef Advantage, improvements in beef quality, and the development of post processing technologies to optimize cutout values.
First Cluster (April 1, 2009 - March 31, 2013)
Industry and government funding commitments through the first Cluster totaled $10.5 million directed to 32 research projects. The research activities involved 51 lead researchers at seven federal sites and five universities in six provinces, in addition to several provincial government institutions and industry facilities.
The coordination of resources and alignment of research with industry priorities as a result of the Cluster was significant in achieving an increased level of industry research investment, capacity development in critical areas and improved collaboration across research institutions.
The BCRC encourages the application of relevant knowledge and technology within industry. The results of each project will be made available on BeefResearch.ca throughout 2013/14; stay tuned to the BCRC Blog for announcements of new fact sheets.
A 60-page report on the results of the Cluster is also available, which outlines how dollars were invested and how the research that was funded is contributing to advancements for Canada’s beef industry. Download the results report (PDF).
Second Cluster (2013 - March 31, 2018)
The first Cluster has proven to be a very successful step towards improving coordination of beef research funding in Canada while generating meaningful, applicable results. The next Cluster (under Growing Forward 2) will build on the success of the first.
Joint industry and government commitments to the second Cluster (2013 – March 31, 2018) total $20 million, including $14 million in funding from AAFC, $1 million in provincial government investments, and $5 million in funding from the research allocation of the National Check-off and provincial beef industry groups. Funding will be directed to 26 studies to be completed by March 31, 2018.
Details on each of the studies funded by the Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster under Growing Forward 2 are available under the 'Research' tab on BeefResearch.ca, or click here to download all of the Cluster 2 fact sheets [PDF | 1.8MB].