External review Breed4Food II

Early 2021, the self-evaluation of Breed4Food II, consisting of reviews of the scientific achievements and working process, was approved by the board. Thereafter, an external review was conducted by Prof. Graham Plastow (University of Alberta, Canada) and Dr. Anna Campbell (AbacusBio, New Zealand). The focal question was: “What are the main steps to take for the consortium Breed4Food to further improve the scientific quality and impact (business and society) of the joint research in the next 5 years?”. They interviewed various groups of people involved in Breed4Food II, including the funding agencies TKI Agri&Food and NWO.

In the final report, the external reviewers commented that “Breed4Food is a world leading initiative in the area of livestock breeding, an initiative which has delivered a number of successful outcomes, both commercial and scientific. There are few livestock programs internationally, which can boast successful collaboration of four commercial companies with a world-class university.” Furthermore, they identified opportunities 

for improvement in three main areas: 1) strengthening a shared culture across the partnership, 2) improving processes, and 3) societal impact and social license. The recommendations of the external review will be internally discussed in the upcoming three months. Late June’21, there will be a final meeting to decide on which recommendations to implement and, if so, how these recommendations need to be incorporated in the working process, governance, communication, etc. Last year, the PPP Breed4Food III entitled ‘Accelerating genomic prediction’ 2021-2025 was granted by TKI Agri&Food. We will use the recommendations in the implementation of this partnership. 

The board has decided to publish the external review to underscore the openness and transparency about the joint research work to the outside world. Furthermore, the board will write a formal reaction to the recommendations after we have finalized the internal discussion. By doing so, we want to give follow-up on the recommendations of the external review. The formal reaction will be sent to the external reviewers and, thereafter, also be published.

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