Animal Health Research Club (ARC)
In 2012 BBSRC established the Animal Health Research Club (ARC) to bring together industry and the research community to support research that improves our understanding of resistance to pests and diseases in farmed animals.
Resistance to disease is a priority area as the cost of animal diseases to the UK economy can be high. For example the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth cost the UK £8Bn and the long-term risk of dealing with exotic diseases costs UK industry approximately £100M per year.
ARC invests in excellent research that underpins knowledge and improves skills in the research community to enable the provision of pre-competitive, innovative and industrially relevant research outputs for the animal breeding, pharmaceutical and production industry sectors.
A total of 15 research projects and 5 PhD studentships have been awarded through the Club.
ARC's research challenges are:
- Understanding the basis of resistance/resilience to pests and diseases in farmed animal species
- Developing novel tools for defining disease biomarkers and phenotypes to inform breeding strategies for subclinical diseases and increased disease resistance
- Understanding variation in vaccine responsiveness, immuno-competence at different developmental stages and disease outcomes
- Determining the effects of selection for production traits on immune function
ARC has 13 company members who contribute to funding research and take part in directing the Club's activities. ARC has a total budget of approximately £10M:
- £965k – Industrial membership subscriptions
- £831k – The Scottish Government
- £8M – BBSRC