The participating parties – PigIT, University of Copenhagen

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The participating parties

Three academic partners and the Pig Research Centre at the Danish Agriculture and Food Council form the core of the Alliance.

Department of Large Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH LAS)

The department participates with following academic staff: Prof. Anders Ringgaard Kristensen (herd management), Assoc. Prof. Nils Toft (epidemiological decision support), Assoc. Prof. Helle Halkjær Kristensen (animal behavior and welfare) and Post Doc Cécile Cornou (herd management), PhD NN1 and PhD NN2. In addition the department will offer substantial administrative support and have dedicated resources to an alliance administrator. The research group contributes internationally recognized expertise on advanced methods and applications for data driven model based production monitoring and decision support at herd level. It also contributes expertise on automatic monitoring of animal behavior and welfare assessment at herd level.

Department of Animal science, Aarhus University (AU ANIS) 

The department participates with following academic staff: Chief Scientist Erik Jørgensen (statistics and herd management), Assoc. Prof. Ulrich Halekoh (statistics), Senior scientist Lene Juul Pedersen,  Post Doc Heidi Andersen, PhD NN3 and Post Doc NN. In addition technical support will be provided for sensor management and data processing. The research group contributes knowledge about decision support systems for herd management, statistical methods for behavioural processes with focus on online data, e.g. use of Hidden Markov Models and Phase type distribution, and methods for online image analysis. Furthermore the research group contributes knowledge about animal behaviour and welfare, and use of on-line data for behavioural observations.

Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University (AU ECON) 

The department participates with following academic staff: Assoc. Prof. Lars Relund Nielsen (operations research) and PhD NN4. The research group contributes with expertise within the field of operations research and economics. Especially focus is on development of multi-criteria algorithms which takes both productivity and welfare into account.

Danish Agriculture & Food Council, The Pig Research Centre (LFS/VSP)

The Danish pig industry participates with following staff: Head of Department, Finn Udesen, chief researcher Niels Peter Baadsgaard and senior project manager Henriette Steinmetz Florisson. The contributions by the Pig Research Center include scientific feedback, contact to pig farms, practical tests in herds and farmer compensations in relation to on-farm experiments.

Affiliated partners 

In addition to the core partners the alliance has two affiliated partners: the private owned it-companies Skov A/S and TNM A/S. Besides, a number of private pig farmers will be linked to the alliance via LFS/VSP.

Skov A/S 

The company is a technologically oriented industry leader on the international market for climate control and production monitoring of animal production. The company develops, produces and markets systems and components for ventilation systems, livestock house air cleaning and production control. The company contributes to the alliance with its expertise and knowledge concerning sensor based registrations under herd conditions, and has knowledge and interest in how to utilize the results of the projects of the alliance in the best possible way for end-users, so that new commercial products with an international market perspective can be developed after the project period.


TNM A/S (with subsidiaries TNM Consult and TNM IT) has extensive software development activities for the pig industry and (through the technologically oriented subsidiary TNM IT) it acts as IT department for numerous private pig farmers. The companies contribute expertise on installing of technical equipment (sensors and process computers) in pig herds as well as general scientific feedback and experience with agricultural software development.

Partners' competencies and expected contributions

The competencies and expected contributions are summarized in the table below:

Partner Competencies Main contribution

Department of   Large Animal Sciences,


Herd management

Welfare monitoring

Animal behavior

Software   development

Methods for monitoring and decision support: Algorithms, knowledge representation, classification, pattern recognition, optimization. Automatic monitoring of animal behavior.

Quantification of welfare.

Department of   Animal Science,


Herd management


Animal behaviour and welfare

Methods for monitoring and decision support, experimental design, statistical models for behavioral processes and online data, image analysis.

Measurement of animal behavior,  Quantification of Behavioral needs, on-line recording of climate and behavior.

Department of   Economics and Business,


Operations   research

Methods for decision support: Multi-criteria optimization, decisions at different levels.

The Pig Research   Centre,


Pig production   systems

Management   routines

Scientific feedback, contact to pig farms, practical tests in herds, farmer compensation.


The Alliance will have partner-specific activities that will ensure cooperation between scientific and commercial partners. However the Alliance will also be flexible, and open to involve new participants in the process. The activities will be organised in targeted projects with the common attributes: objectives, methods, milestones, deadline, deliverables, resources etc. 

International collaboration will happen through the Advisory Board; in the projects and through links to on-going projects in Helsinki (Finland), Utrecht/Wageningen (Holland) and Lleida (Spain).