John Oldacre Centre: Farm Research Data Platform


Professor Andrew Dowsey
Chair in Population Health Data Science

Bristol Vet School has been awarded £1 million by the John Oldacre Trust to create the world’s most intensively monitored dairy farm at our commercial facility. Combining Bristol’s leading expertise in cohort studies, genetic epidemiology, anti-microbial resistance (AMR), sensing and monitoring, data science and artificial intelligence with Bristol Vet School’s leading Sustainability, Welfare and One Health approach to AMR research, this will provide a platform for tackling One Health grand challenges.

Our platform will realise a longitudinal cattle cohort to answer fundamental research questions:

  • Global Food Security: Understanding animal resilience to intensified production while ensuring sustainableresource use
  • Welfare and Cognition: Studying social/environmental interactions, for high welfare practice and to advance basic cognition and behaviour research
  • Disease and resistance dynamics: Transmission modelling between cows and through the environment and farmers
  • Health monitoring and Precision Livestock Farming (PLF): A testbed for developing and validating sensors and data integration methods, prior to translation to human health and PLF scenarios

The farm research data platform will also be available through CIEL-Bristol to support dairy industry R&D supported by our extensive “gold standard” monitoring infrastructure. Instrumentation will include:

  • A comprehensive dense network of video surveillance cameras to track movements and behaviours of all our cattle 24/7
  • Infrastructure for commercial & research wearables and other Internet-of-Things devices
  • Detailed observation biomechanical/biosensor/thermal analysis at specific locations
  • Capture of individual cow inputs, metabolic physiology, emissions and veterinary interventions
  • Meteorology and environmental monitoring stations


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