SheepNet was initiated in November 2016, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Based on the general findings of the project , the recommendations for supporting innovations and technologies for the sheep sector are as below:
SheepNet showed that sheep farmers, consultants, advisers and researchers agree on the value of innovations and technologies to answer sheep farmers’ needs.
However, SheepNet also highlighted the issue of barriers to uptake, based on costs, a shortage of targeted innovations for sheep farmers, and a lack of capacity building and investment. Being more challenged financially than other sectors, the sheep industry needs an EU approach for relevant support mechanisms.
Based on this, we propose the creation of a specific fund for small ruminant research, an EU approach to funding for innovation and technology research and transfer to motivate private companies to invest in the sheep sector, and to find a mechanism to share investment at regional level for new or innovative farm equipment.