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New Innovation Centre To Advance The Wellbeing Of Domestic Animals In Europe

3 years ago

27th April, 2016 21h06


GUILDFORD, UK (April 27, 2016) - Zoetis and the University of Surrey announce the launch of vHive - the Veterinary Health Innovation Engine.  This novel multi-disciplinary centre aspires to promote development and adoption of digital innovation in animal health. Digital technologies including wearables, apps, sensors and satellites promise to transform real-time information capture for animal owners and their veterinary advisors. This will enable improved understanding of animal health and early identification of problems in an analogous manner to eHealth for people. Furthermore, creation of digital platforms in animal health and development of sophisticated machine-learning analytics will facilitate early warning surveillance of population threats such as the Schmallenberg virus and Bluetongue epidemics we have witnessed in recent years.

vHive will be a model for Open Innovation where the University’s expertise in the Centre for the Digital Economy within the Surrey Business School and the 5G Innovation Centre are integrated with the School of Veterinary Medicine and the experience of Zoetis to drive new research, education and business opportunities.  We anticipate that other research institutions and commercial enterprises will also collaborate with vHive in the future. The collaboration is supported with an approximately £8.5 million co-investment in resources dedicated to the development and adoption of new technologies in animal health as well as support from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. 

VHive was opened today (27 April) by Professor G.Q. Max Lu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey and Dr. Alejandro Bernal, Executive Vice President and Group President, Strategy, Commercial and Business Development at Zoetis, at the launch event where speakers explained the critical importance of digital and data innovation to animal health. This collaboration follows the launch of Zoetis’s Centre for Digital Innovation in the heart of London’s Tech City.

The University of Surrey has invested over £127 million in developing a truly multidisciplinary research environment that includes the 5G Innovation Centre, the Centre for the Digital Economy in the Surrey Business School and the new School of Veterinary Medicine. These combined resources provide a unique opportunity to harness the benefits of our digital age for the health and welfare of animals, their owners and wider society.

Partnering with Zoetis means that the Centre will have access to the company’s world-class capacities in developing innovative products and services and in translating new technologies into valuable tools for their customers.

vHive will focus on: new Digital technologies for data capture and monitoring of animals’ wellbeing; development and integration of digital platforms to enable sophisticated analytics to create new knowledge and delivery of this intelligence to decision-makers in the animal health community from animal owners through to Government and including the whole food chain from stable to table.

New technologies including PetDialog™+, Pathpal™ and digital pathology and the early detection of pig disease were showcased at the Centre launch event.

Speaking at the launch, Professor Alex Cook, Head of the vHive, University of Surrey, said: “This pioneering Centre has been created to serve as a science and technology smart business hub that will welcome the involvement of other partners – as observers, as participants in projects and as investors in the future of the Centre. We look forward to developing important, collaborative projects to utilise rapidly evolving digital technology.”

Dr Alejandro Bernal of Zoetis added: “From disease prevention to the management of health and wellbeing of animals, digital innovation is opening a new era in animal health in helping veterinarians and farmers to make more data driven decisions. At Zoetis, we are delighted to be partnering with the University of Surrey as we can benefit from complementary areas of expertise, gathering information and building practical solutions to enable vets and farmers to perform even better in their business.”

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