Contract Research Programme Reinvigorated

by 5m Editor
20 July 2011, at 10:41am

CANADA - The president and CEO of the Saskatoon based Prairie Swine Centre reports improved profitability in the swine industry is allowing the centre to reinvigorate its contract research programme, Bruce Cochrane writes.

The Saskatoon-based Prairie Swine Centre has operated as a private non-profit research corporation since 1992 focusing on research related to pork production in the areas of nutrition, engineering, animal behavior and management.

Following a period of economic restraint the Centre is now in the process of filling three positions, the recently vacated position of research scientist in ethology and two positions that had been downsize as a result of the recession, manager of technology transfer and manager of contract research services which has been vacant since last December.

President and CEO Lee Whittington notes the Prairie Swine Centre has always provided contract research on behalf of clients but during the recession that effort was downsized and it's now being built back up.

Lee Whittington-Prairie Swine Centre

The reason we didn't rush right in to filling it last winter was that the lingering recession in the US economy has affected most of the pharmaceutical, feed industry, equipment companies that we do private contract work for and so we've maintained the program with some senior technicians but have not seen the opportunity to go out and pound the streets to try and get more business.

What we see now is a revival of the pig industry, the US economy is still going sideways or even down but we're hopeful from the signs we see world-wide especially in China and some other European countries that there's a renewed interest in getting back to doing some of the research work that many of these international companies would normally do.

Mr Whittington credits the re-staffing to significant improvements in profitability and a more optimistic outlook in the pork industry as well as the new cluster funding programme for research which the federal government made available to the pork industry last year.

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