UL research awarded over €3million funding to increase beef sector sustainability

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THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick (UL) will lead new research aimed at increasing sustainability across the dairy and beef sectors.

The BullNet project, led by UL professor Sean Fair from the Department of Biological Sciences, has been awarded €3.8million from the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Networks programme.

The project will assist the dairy and beef industries in meeting growing societal, environmental, and economic demands across the sector when it comes to sustainability and to help meet climate action targets.

The BullNet research programme is designed to unravel the complex underlying biology of compromised fertility of individual bulls.

BullNet will also lead to the advancement of knowledge in how bull management strategies and semen processing affect the functional and molecular characteristics of sperm, thus opening scientific horizons for new applications in the area of assisted reproduction.

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Professor Fair will coordinate the international project which has 23 partners across seven countries.

As well as that, the project will recruit 14 PhD students in the lifetime of the project, with three PhDs graduating from UL.

Across Europe, the prestigious EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Networks Action will support around 1,650 PhD researchers in 149 projects worth €429million this year.

It is a competitive initiative with some 946 eligible proposals submitted for this funding call, with only 149 being funded.