SUCCESSFUL PROJECT APPLICATIONS 2023
These were the successful project applications in 2023 that received grant funding from the Digital Dairy Chain project.
Funding awarded: £339,269
Improved productivity and sustainability in high value dairy production through the deployment of low-cost wireless methane sensors.
AlbaSense Ltd (lead), University of Strathclyde, University of the West of Scotland and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
The dairy sector has begun to address the pressing need to reduce methane emissions through genetics and with the use of feed additives. However, presently, there is no industry standard for methane measurement that can independently quantify the mass of methane produced on an operational farm, driving a near-term need for reliable cost-effective measurement methods.
This project aims to deliver a low-cost, robust methane sensor which can be rapidly retrofitted to existing farm equipment e.g. milking robots with minimal installation cost to increase the adoption of GHG measurement equipment.
Funding awarded: £262,292
Development of a Compact Hydro Energy Device for Agricultural and Horticultural Sectors.
Alternative Technology Solutions Ltd (lead), Lancaster University and Aspatria Farmers Ltd.
The Compact Hydro Energy Device (CHED) is an innovative breakthrough in sustainable energy generation. CHED harnesses the power of water to produce clean and renewable electricity, revolutionising the way we meet our energy needs.
Our vision extends beyond energy generation. We strive to promote the adoption of ethical hydro-energy technologies, making them accessible to consumers who may not have previously considered hydro-electric systems.
Funding awarded: £341,744
Biosynthesis green hydrogen demonstration.
Biofoundry Energy Ltd (lead), University of Strathclyde and First Milk Ltd.
Biofoundry Energy Limited (BE) is developing a novel pathway for green hydrogen synthesis from wastewater derived from the dairy sector. The technology will support a sustainable and affordable transition of the dairy sector to net zero by production of low cost and sustainable green hydrogen.
The proposed technology would enable the milk processing companies to meet their energy needs by the waste utilisation, thereby embedding circularity in their processes and offering a low cost pathway to reach net zero.
As the technology scales, the surplus production of hydrogen could be provided to the local community as a local, affordable and green energy source.
Funding awarded: £270,183
CEVEC – Cost Effective Ventilated Environment for Calves
Galebreaker Agri Ltd (lead), Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and J.Stewart Vance and Son.
Calves from dairy herds are the foundation animals for both dairy farms and for the dairy-beef industry. However, there are several major health and welfare issues suffered by these calves. Pneumonia is a major problem for young calves, with an estimated 11% of all calves suffering from this problem. A case of pneumonia causes distress and ill health in the affected animal, but also has wider consequences including long-term adverse effects on growth, health, and fertility in that animal, and over-use of antimicrobial drugs. Poor ventilation and air quality in calf housing is known to be a major factor that increases rates of pneumonia.
To address this challenge, CEVEC will design and deliver a low-cost purpose-built calf rearing building, with real-time monitoring, and automated environmental control to ensure high health, welfare, and productivity of calves, whilst reducing labour costs associated with calf management.
Funding awarded: £211,781
Developing the world’s first ready-to-feed baby-milk made in Cumbria and free from tropical oils emulsifiers.
Collaborative partners: Kendal Nutricare Ltd and Reaseheath College.
Kendal Nutricare (KNC), is seeking to developing an innovative, British-made ready-to-feed baby-milk that is nutritionally superior, more naturally and sustainably-made and scientifically closer to the gold standard of breastmilk, while uniquely supporting Cumbrian food innovation and dairy farming.
The prototype recipe (code-name ‘Kendamil-PRO’), will be developed using a fundamentally innovative formulation that combines novel, natural ingredients with the KNC teams’ 500+ years’ cumulative expertise in infant nutrition, with innovative processing steps, to provide infants the most nutritionally-complete, environmentally-sustainable ready-to-feed baby-milk in the world.
Funding awarded: £334,895
CoolCows – developing and demonstrating a new model using genomics and IVF to rapidly breed more methane-efficient, sustainable cattle.
Paragon Vet Ltd (lead), Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Greylag Holdings (UK) Ltd.
The environmental impact of cattle is frequently challenged, particularly with regard to methane production, yet significant variations in carbon emissions (per unit of milk or meat) exist between countries, farming systems, herds and individual animals. This project utilises the latest technology to determine and demonstrate the best model in breeding cattle for improved sustainability, establishing a line of highly methane-efficient animals for dissemination of these hugely important genetics throughout the industry, and showing the importance of cattle breeding as an integral part of farming strategy as we look to achieve net zero by 2050 and beyond whilst ensuring and improving health, welfare and food security.
Funding awarded: £195,231
Using Data to Drive Sustained Improvements in Dairy Supply Chain Operations towards Net Zero.
Milk Suppliers Association Ltd (lead), Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Lactalis McLelland Ltd.
Reducing the energy wastage and carbon footprint of the dairy supply chain is one of the greatest challenges of this sector given net-zero targets set by the Scottish and UK Governments. The core of this project is to:
- automate the gathering of operational data on a range of cooperative members’ dairies for key energy consuming equipment;
- present the analysis of that data to the management and staff in such a way that it highlights waste & opportunities for improvement;
- track and reinforce efficiency improvements to embed it in the dairy’s operation, lock in greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and increase business sustainability;
- facilitate peer-to-peer comparison and identification of best practice between farms;
- identify opportunities for optimisation of logistics collections based on bulk milk storage status on farm through real time data; and
- sustain the cycle of continuous improvement whilst maintaining and improving quality of product. A significant part of achieving Net Zero is behavioural change of individuals.
The project’s digital solution, by scoping GHGE from the milk vat to the creamery, will enable farmers and dairy plant operators to edge closer to their net-zero targets and engage as wide a spectrum as possible of stakeholders in the process of continuous improvement.