Sygen International, a world leader in applying quantitative genetics and biotechnology to animal breeding, is to receive funding from the BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) foundation to carry out research into disease resistance and mortality in poultry.
Commencing this month and lasting for around a year and a half, the project will attempt to identify and sequence genes that increase susceptibility to certain diseases, which in turn increase mortality rates in poultry. The initiative is a collaboration between Sygen International and Yissum (technology transfer company of The Hebrew University Of Jerusalem).
The BIRD Foundation is an Israel-US research and development fund. Its mission is to stimulate, promote and support industrial research and development of mutual benefit to the US and Israel. In July, the BIRD foundation approved $9 million in support for 10 development projects valued at a total of $20 million.
The fund's executive director, Dov Hershberg, commented: "This is the third year in a row in which the fund has invested heavily in life sciences. The annual scope of the fund's investment in the field has reached $5 million, and I believe this is likely to continue. In all of our adopted projects, we aim to promote strategic partnerships between Israel and the US."
Sygen's technology, products and services enable producers and farmers to enhance meat quality and improve efficiency in the production of meat animals. Sygen applies a unique combination of quantitative genetics and biotechnology to animal breeding, which is applicable across all livestock species.
Sygen companies operate in 30 countries on five continents, with laboratories located in Berkeley, California, and Cambridge, UK. For example PIC, a Sygen company, is the international leader in providing genetically superior pig breeding stock and technical support for maximising genetic potential to commercial pork producers.
Operating for over 40 years, PIC's success is attributed to its thorough concentration on, and significant investment in, all aspects of genetics, technology and health.