Innovation budget focuses on three major themes

For three years now, SFR has had its own innovation budget to initiate its own research. SFR employees can submit an idea. A scientific team will then assess this, possibly request further substantiation and ultimately allocate a budget. Head of R&D at SFR, Francesc Molist, talks about it.

Three major long-term themes

‘In the first year after its founding, many ideas came in for relatively small projects. From 2022-2025 we therefore work with three major themes: methane, alternatives to animal testing and sustainability. In addition, there is a fourth budget for short-term projects.

Within the methane theme, for example, sensors in the feed troughs are used to measure methane emissions from a cow’s breath. In the first quarter of 2024 we will conduct new tests to evaluate the accuracy of various sensors for methane determinations.

Within alternatives to animal testing, SFR wants to start a project on an in-vitro alternative for the fistula cow. “But that is complex, because then you have to simulate rumen juices or extract them from the cow through the mouth,” says Francesc. Work is also being done to imitate the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins by pigs and poultry.

Feeding and measuring individually

Within the theme of sustainability, the SFR researchers are working on individual feeding and measuring the feed intake of laying hens and parent animals. But also, for example, the upgrading of poorly or indigestible carbohydrates into valuable protein-rich animal feed raw materials via a solid state fermentation process with fungi. Its own innovation budget gives SFR the opportunity to start research itself and not only do this at the request of customers. In addition, it is a way to contribute to the financing of innovative PPP processes.

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