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$2Million (USD) boost for animal health research

A new partnership has been announced, bringing together Pfizer Animal Health and The Roslin Institute within the EBRC.

A new partnership, which brings together the world's leading  research-based animal health company and one of the largest veterinary  research and education consortiums, was announced in Edinburgh on  October 18 when Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal visited the  University of Edinburgh.

The Pfizer Partnership Platform (PPP) is believed to be the first of its kind in the animal health sector with industry and research consortium working together to promote excellence in veterinary research and education. The new initiative will be backed by a total funding of approximately $2 million USD over five years.

Pfizer's partner in the new venture is the Easter Bush Research Consortium (EBRC), which represents the Moredun Research Institute, The Roslin Institute (a BBSRC National Institute of Bioscience) and The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh and SAC (the Scottish Agricultural College). The EBRC is one of the largest groups investigating the health, welfare and development of companion and food production animals, with a combined annual budget in excess of $100million.

The partnership will encourage a greater understanding of issues affecting animal health as well as provide studentships for veterinary and science graduates to enhance their future careers.

The aim of the Partnership Platform is to encourage leading scientists from different organisations to share information and work together on defined research and educational projects.

Projects will cover all the major food production and companion animal species and include vaccines, immunology, infectious diseases, parasitology, proteomics, genetics, genomics, antigenomics, target identification, clinical models and comparative translational medicine.

Paul WoodHead of Global Discovery at Pfizer

The Partnership was launched at the University of Edinburgh's Easter Bush campus where a $90 million building has just been completed. The building will accommodate The Roslin Institute and animal science specialists from the Scottish Agricultural  College.

The partnership will support PhDs, where students will be able to draw upon a wealth of expertise from across the EBRC's four organisations. This will enable students to broaden their skills with knowledge that can be applied to future careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry or government.

In addition to PhDs, the partnership will also support students to attend summer schools as well as undertake a masters degree on the University of Edinburgh's One Health programme. Students on the course, which is being launched next year, will study zoonoses - infectious diseases that cross species barriers, food borne diseases and infectious diseases that affect both humans and animals.

This new collaboration will bring together many of the research leaders in the animal health world, backed by an unrivalled resource. The potential for increasing our knowledge and improving our ability to manage animal health and welfare issues is very exciting. 

The time when industry could research and develop its own ideas and products in isolation is coming to an end; the future of animal health and welfare lies in multi-disciplinary collaboration with external partners who share the same vision.

Albert BourlaArea President at Pfizer Animal Health

EBRC -PPP main objectives include:

  • Emphasise educational activities and promote veterinarians in postgraduate study and research
  • Support early stage research, technologies and capability platforms
  • Promote multi-disciplinary research teams, with contributions from different participating organisations

A joint management steering committee with an equal number of members from EBRC and Pfizer Animal Health will provide overall direction and focus for the PPP, and have responsibility for major decisions.

The review and recommendation of projects for investment, and of ongoing projects, will be handled by scientific review groups in the form of multi-disciplinary teams with expert representatives from EBRC-PPP members. Project teams will focus on driving approved projects on a day-to-day basis.

This partnership will provide the financial investment to develop world class veterinary education in a research-led environment and ensure that Edinburgh grows as a centre for international scientific excellence and knowledge transfer.

The EBRC has a wealth of expertise and this agreement ensures a critical mass of inquiry for animal health and welfare issues, which will encourage new multi-disciplinary collaborations as well as provide training for the next generation of vets and scientists.

Professor Elaine WatsonHead of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies


From the view of Roslin as a BBSRC Institute, this investment represents a strong vindication of BBSRC Science Strategy directed towards solving the global challenges in Food Security.

David HumeRoslin Director

The funding has been provided towards furthering research and increasing the number of scholarships and bursaries available for students and forms part of the larger Edinburgh Campaign, which to date has secured £313 million towards the £350 million goal for initiatives across the University of Edinburgh. This includes creating new hubs of learning and conserving iconic University buildings. About Pfizer Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health, a business of Pfizer Inc., is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal prescription medicines and vaccines, investing an estimated $300 million in R&D annually. For more information on how Pfizer works to assure a safe, sustainable global food supply from healthy livestock, poultry and fish, or how Pfizer helps companion animals and horses to live longer, healthier lives, visit

Issued by:

Mike Keeler

Garnett Keeler Public Relations

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