Interbull Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

Annual report (2012-2013) to the Interbull Steering Committee

Interbull SAC: Vincent Ducrocq, Dan Gianola, Mike Goddard, Georgios Banos (convener)


This year marks 10 years since the Interbull SAC was formed. Therefore, a good opportunity is presented to revisit the objectives and mandate as originally stated, and assess the degree to which these objectives were met. The relevant excerpt from the Terms of Reference of May 15th, 2003 follows:

In this context, we review experiences from this first decade and attempt to formulate a clearer mandate for the future of SAC. This report also builds on the outcomes of the strategic planning workshop held in Uppsala, Sweden, on 7-8/1/2013, attended by Ducrocq on behalf of SAC, in an attempt to determine how this Committee best fits in the new strategic direction of Interbull.

Past to Present

Members of the SAC broadly believe that Mandate 2.1 was addressed primarily based on our own assessment of what issues might be of strategic importance to the SC and to a lesser extent on strategic issues communicated to SAC by the SC. Mandate 2.2 was not addressed due to very limited interaction with and virtually non-existent requests by ITC.
A summarized account of the SAC activities and focus over the past 10 years is provided in Annex 1.

Present to Future

Interbull has been traditionally offering research- and technology-intensive services to the global bovine breeding sector. As the key strategic issues of Interbull emerged during the last strategic planning workshop in Uppsala, it became evident that a solid scientific strategy is required in order to allow Interbull emerge as a competitive provider of

  1. world class genomic infrastructure and services for diverse customer needs

  2. state-of-the-art classical genetic evaluation services
    in order to improve its

  3. business operations and image
    as well as its

  4. strategic communications and marketing
    while consolidating its role as a

  5. network for research collaboration, quality assurance and best practice methods.

In this regard, a more systematic approach is needed to establishing and consolidating the scientific profile of the organisation. Some key components of the new Interbull research strategy are shown below:

  1. The establishment of specific scientific objectives and research priorities.
  2. The identification of “in-house” and “outsourced” research activities.
  3. The identification of “core” and “peripheral” research activities, where the former might be partly funded by Interbull.
  4. The systematic evaluation of advances/progress towards meeting the objectives and priorities.
  5. The establishment of a call for proposals of “core” projects to be outsourced or carried out in collaboration with external partners and the evaluation process of the submitted proposals. The impact of these projects on the competitiveness of Interbull will need to be demonstrated.
  6. The identification of possibilities of training for Interbull Centre staff.

It should be noted that, whether outsourced Research and Development or in-house Design and Production, Interbull activities are science and technology-intensive and very strong scientific commitment and orientation are required.

Conclusions and Recommendations

  1. Interbull will be facing greater scientific/technical challenges than in the past as they strive towards achieving the new strategic goals.
  2. The role of SAC as an external advisory body will be to strengthen and support the scientific component of Interbull activities and enhance the technical credibility and competitiveness of the organisation by contributing to the above-stated activities.
  3. Interbull should be asking the SAC for advise on specific questions relevant to our expertise.
  4. Closer links and collaboration with the SC and ITC would be beneficial for the identification of scientific priorities, alignment of activities, addressing of specific relevant issues and optimisation of the modus operandi.

August 2013
The Interbull SAC


Focus of SAC annual reports

Interbull developments


* Review of Interbull research portfolio
* Genetic correlations among countries
* Molecular data in genetic evaluations

* New services
* Genomic evaluations
* Task force
* Strategy workshops
* New vision


* Data quality and validation


* Functional traits
* Genetic correlations among countries


* Advent of genomic data


* Genomic evaluations and selection
* Role of Interbull


* Genomic evaluations
* Expansion of service
* New traits


* Genomic evaluations
* Sequencing
* Genetic diversity


* Short-, medium-, long-term priorities of Interbull


* Interbull role in post-genomic era


* Interbull SAC role

public/SACreport2013 (last edited 2013-09-06 15:25:44 by João)