John Oldacre Centre: Farm Research Data Platform

Bristol Vet School has been awarded £1 million by the John Oldacre Trust together with support from the Alan Turing Institute 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


Professor Andrew Dowsey
Chair in Population Health Data Science

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