Next call for Newton Fund from BBSRC

UK-China-Philippines-Thailand-Vietnam swine and poultry research initiative


Brief description of activity – No more than 50 words

Collaborative research programme between UK, China, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines to support bilateral or multilateral research projects focused on increasing resilience to diseases in swine and poultry with epidemic and/or zoonotic potential. Grants awarded will develop solutions which will contribute to food safety, security and economic growth in partner countries.


Primary Purpose

Diseases of livestock such as foot and mouth, avian influenza and campylobacter are of great economic importance to developing countries. Outbreaks of these diseases results in huge economic losses through production losses, disease eradication losses and trade losses (e.g. restriction of trade to disease free countries). For example, in the six most severely affected countries of avian influenza, the contribution of the poultry sector to GDP ranges from approximately 0.5% in Thailand to 1.3% in China. In Vietnam, the costs of the 2003-4 outbreaks were predicted to be between 0.3%-1.8% of GDP.


Research funded through this initiative will develop solutions which will contribute to the prevention or rapid treatment of diseases of swine and poultry with endemic or zoonotic potential and which are most prevalent in the partner countries. Delivery of the research in partnership will ensure solutions developed are sustainable, culturally acceptable and provide clear pathways to impact in the partner countries.

This initiative will primarily address Global Goals 2, 3,12 and 17.


 Aims and Impact

The research supported by this initiative with develop understanding and provide solutions which will contribute to the prevention or rapid treatment of diseases of swine and poultry with endemic or zoonotic potential and which are most prevalent in the partner countries. To achieve this we will co-invest in research which will consider food contamination, host-pathogen interactions, transfer of diseases from animals to humans, development of therapeutics and transmission dynamics (transfer between animal-food-person) and anti-microbial resistance. Solutions or interventions developed will contribute to ensuring food security, human health outcomes and economic development through reducing production losses and increasing security of trade.


This call will build on, and strengthen the funder to funder partnerships developed through the first regional Newton Fund call led by BBSRC in sustainable rice research. Using a regional approach will enable not only development of partnerships with UK researchers but between researchers across the countries involved enabling increased knowledge sharing and benefits realization across a number of countries which are affected by similar problems, thereby ensuring greater value for money.


 Secondary Benefit

While the challenges addressed through the research supported by this programme will be specific to the partner countries and are those which have the greatest impact upon developing countries, in line with the UK aid strategy in addressing these challenges we will contribute to increased resilience and security in the UK. For example, incidents of avian influenza originate in Asia and can have devastating impact on the partner countries poultry exports, food security and human health. However, it is a disease of pandemic potential with the ability to spread rapidly across borders and from poultry into the human population. Therefore there is clear benefit to the UK in working with affected countries to develop preventative interventions and treatments, thereby significantly reducing the risk of outbreak in the UK and ensuring security of food supply chains.


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