New NWO project on sustainable food production

Recently we received the good news that NWO approved the Open Technology Program project “Smart Turkeys” run by prof. Peter de With and Jacob de Vlieg, in close cooperation with the WUR (Wageningen University & Research). In this project 2 Postdocs will be working at the TU/e, one in Electrical Engineering, the other in Mathematics and Computer Science department.

The human population is projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. To feed our future generations, we must improve the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural production, while keeping our populations in animal-friendly housing systems without interventions such as beak trimming of poultry or tail-docking of pigs. Breeding provides a long-term solution to reach this goal, but requires large amounts of data on individual animals. We will develop the technology for massive automatic recording of individual traits in group-housed animals, and the breeding tools to use these data for genetic improvement. We use computer vision, sensor data, data science and genomic research to automatically identify the genetically superior individuals to be used as parents of the next generations of our populations. In this way, we contribute to sustainable food production.