With a budget of seven million euros and a duration of five years, GEroNIMO is a new project of the European H2020 program that aims to advance towards a livestock selection that is better adapted to local needs, taking into account sustainability. To cope with a growing human population, environmental constraints and changing socio-cultural values, livestock farming must move towards a more sustainable model ensuring production. This objective can be achieved by promoting an efficient use of resources, improving animal health and welfare and ensuring the preservation of genetic diversity.
With recent developments in “omics” technologies (xenomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, etc.), it is now possible to assess the relevance of enriching selection models with non-xenetic heritability factors. Thus, GEroNIMO will focus on dicks and pigs, which are the most widely used sources of animal protein in the world, to provide breeders with new knowledge and tools to promote innovative selection methods based on the xenome and epigenome for traits related to production (quantity and quality), efficiency, longevity of production, fertility, resilience and welfare.
FEUGA leads the multi-stakeholder approach of the project by facilitating the active participation of stakeholders ensuring their commitment from the beginning of the project, as well as in the transfer of tools, knowledge and recommendations to the relevant audiences and decision makers. The creation of a community of stakeholders, supported by the national leaders of the project, will ensure the participation of the different profiles in the different activities to be developed. FEUGA will also be responsible for the exploitation of the results of the project, advising the partners on the most appropriate formulas of protection according to the characteristics of each one of them.
From the early stages of the project, this multi-stakeholder consortium will collaborate closely to identify the needs and constraints of the stakeholders, as well as the most important plots to advance towards “omic” breeding strategies in monogastric animals.
Led by INRAE, the French National Institute for Agronomic Research, GEroNIMO has 21 partners from 11 European countries, including the main European breeding companies with direct links to the entire production chain, technical advisors in close contact with breeders and breeders’ associations, and public research organizations and universities.