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Roslin Institute receives India-UK funding in Farmed Animal Health and Disease

The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh is one of a number of organisations to receive funding from the UK and Indian governments to undertake new research projects to tackle major livestock diseases.

Close up image of a chicken

The major £13 million India-UK collaboration in Farmed Animal Health and Disease was announced today by Sir Mark Walport, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, during a visit to India. Two of the 12 research projects, which aim to tackle major livestock diseases that threaten food security in the UK and globally, will be run at The Roslin Institute, which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

£6.5M has been awarded by the BBSRC, with matched funding from India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT), for collaborative research projects between universities and research institutes in both countries. It is the first international call on animal health for DBT and covers many important livestock species.

The Roslin Institute will receive £1.6 million of the funding for projects that aim to identify how different avian [bird] species respond to evolving avian flu viruses and a second project that will study the genetics of immunity in Indian buffalo.

The Roslin Institute will also collaborate with scientists at the Royal Veterinary College to study how pathogens in poultry interact with the gut bacteria of the birds with a view to finding new ways of combating infections.

Here at The Roslin Institute we are constantly seeking to work with collaborators around the world to develop new solutions to the major food security issues that threaten the international community.

This new funding is a major boost to our growing collaborative relationships with colleagues in India.

Professor David HumeDirector of The Roslin Institute


In the face of a rapidly growing global population, it is vital that we work together to find innovative solutions to animal diseases and global food security. This significant £13 million investment is ensuring this important work can take place and supports the Government's wider Agri-Tech strategy. This is helping UK businesses, including farmers, make the best use of new technologies and techniques to meet the needs of consumers and food producers worldwide, as well as contributing to economic growth.

David WillettsScience Minister


Livestock health is a huge global problem, impacting on the economy and food security. These projects will enable collaboration and shared knowledge in a bid to create novel control measures and technologies to combat infectious diseases that devastate farms in the UK and India.

Professor Jackie HunterBBSRC Chief Executive

The announcement was made as a part of Sir Mark Walport's keynote address during RCUK India's fifth anniversary celebrations in New Delhi this week. These new projects form a part of the £150-million strong UK-India research portfolio that RCUK India has facilitated since 2008.