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Animal health

We are gathering data and mobilising infrastructure across a wide, sometimes disparate region, implementing a sustainable disease diagnostics infrastructure which will bring together veterinary laboratory hubs and outreach services incorporated into small business hubs and enhancing small-holder farming productivity by reducing livestock disease and increasing the availability of veterinary medicines and services.

Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine has rapidly built a reputation for its innovative approach to research, and in 2016 launched the vHive innovation hub, which is dedicated to the development of new digital technologies in animal health. Supported by a co-investment of £8.5m, vHive is made up of both academic and commercial experts who are able to deliver a combination of academically verified research and bespoke business development to their partners.

One area where AI can make an invaluable contribution is in gathering data and mobilising infrastructure across a wide, sometimes disparate region. vHive is currently collaborating with partner Zoetis, the world’s largest animal health company, to support its African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement (ALPHA) initiative, which is co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

One of the most rapidly developing regions in the world, sub-Saharan Africa is also home to some of the largest livestock populations and the highest density of impoverished livestock farmers: Over half of people living on less than $1 a day in the region depend on livestock.

The three-year ALPHA initiative, launched in 2017, seeks to implement a sustainable disease diagnostics infrastructure which will bring together veterinary laboratory hubs and outreach services incorporated into business hubs in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda. The project draws on Surrey’s expertise in digital innovation, data analysis and epidemiology to support the Zoetis in-country teams. The overall aim is to reduce barriers to entry into the highly volatile and fragmented sub-Saharan African animal health market and enhance small-holder farming productivity by reducing livestock disease and increasing the availability of veterinary medicines and services.

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AI@Surrey
University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey
GU2 7XH