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Nutreco launches global prize to recognize outstanding young researchers

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Nutreco launched its Young Researchers Prize. The prize will be awarded to the most promising research by PhD and post-doctorate students working globally across animal, aquaculture and veterinary sciences. Any research relevant to this field, such as economics or big data, is also eligible. 

The prize marks the 25th anniversary of Nutreco and recognizes outstanding research efforts to address the increasingly important challenge of generating enough food for the world’s growing population. The solutions to this challenge will have to be systemic and sustainable, encompassing the various different farming systems.  

The Nutreco's Young Researchers Prize consists of:

  • First place with a cash prize of €12,000.
  • Second place with a cash prize of €8,000.
  • Third place with a cash prize of €5,000.

The award applications need to be submitted in one of the following categories:

  • Precision farming. Precision or smart farming means that plants or animals are grown in optimal conditions determined with great accuracy by harnessing digital tools and big data. A range of technology is used to this end including GPS, sensor technology, ICT and robotics. Technology can assist in strategic decision-making at farm level as well as with operational actions at plant level. This allows production to be optimized and we can thus work on more sustainable farming systems.
  • Precision nutrition is a method that proposes the customization of nutrition with nutritional decisions, practices or products tailored to individual or small groups of animals with similar requirements.
  • Young animal nutrition, mother pre-birth or hatch and the offspring in early life impacts their lifetime health and performance. It is therefore essential to optimize the neonatal phase (first days or weeks of life). Young animals not only need proper nutrition for the growth and development of bones, muscles and organs, but also for proper development of, for example, the gastrointestinal defense system.
  • Animal health and welfare. Animals are especially sensitive during critical transition phases such as weaning, reproductive periods and relocation to other environments. Dietary strategies can contribute to disease resistance and resilience in animals, and thereby, reduce the need for antibiotics and other treatments. Nutrition affects the gastrointestinal functioning of the gut in many aspects and has a significant impact on the intestinal microbiome, the intestinal barrier function and the development of immune competence. In addition, assuring overall well-being and an absence of stress will have a positive influence on disease resistance. Adopting new strategies in animal health are expected to contribute to reducing the need for non-sustainable solutions such as antimicrobials.

Young researchers must be nominated by a professor or supervisor at their place of study through a letter of support. Entrants should also send a CV and an article about their chosen study, a submission to a conference or a summary of their thesis. The document, which should be no longer than three A4s, should include the following information:

  • Submission category.
  • What the proposal is.
  • How the proposal will work.
  • How the proposal supports the mission of ‘Feeding the Future.”
  • Any other relevant information for the judging panel.

Selection criteria will be based on quality PhD or post-doctorate research, innovativeness, sustainability of the proposal, high quality and value for agri- and aquaculture industries. Deadline is December 9, 2019.

The judging panel consists of leading experts in the field of sustainable nutritional solutions including Nutreco’s heads of R&D, Leo den Hartog, Alex Obach and Coen Smits, in addition to Viggo Halseth, Nutreco chief innovation officer and José Villalón, Nutreco corporate sustainability director. 

For more information visit www.nutreco.com or contact corpcomm@nutreco.com.


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