Mission, Vision and Goals of the PLF-Hub

Dear visitor,

At PLF-Hub, we are convinced that rapid technological development and innovation in livestock husbandry offers the prospect of meeting future demands for food in a sustainable and welfare friendly manner. PLF-Hub addresses new risks for animal health, welfare and production by development of PLF technologies which we define as tools for management of livestock by continuous, automated real-time, monitoring of production/reproduction, health and welfare of livestock and environmental impact.

The University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria ( Vetmeduni Vienna ) recognized the emergence of Precision Livestock Farming ( PLF ) technologies and new challenges related to digitalization in modern livestock farming. Digitalization in animal monitoring was named as one of the key action areas impacting all three missions, i.e. research, education, and knowledge transfer at the Vetmeduni Vienna. Against a backdrop of digitalization and emergence of new technologies, the Vetmeduni Vienna is fortifying its infrastructure for research and teaching through new investments. Among those is establishment of a new research group called ‘Precision Livestock Farming Hub’ ( PLF-Hub ) in June 2019 within the Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health.

For monitoring and control of livestock production processes, the PLF-Hub defines an animal as CITD system, which stands for Complex, Individually Different, Time-Varying and Dynamic. The CITD nature of living organisms implies that algorithms to monitor the animals must continuously adapt to the individual and/or use principles that can be used in real-time in the field application.

PLF-Hub will focus on three major area in research on livestock monitoring: solution-oriented research, integration of key welfare, health and production indicators and also wider adoption of image analysis. These major research areas will be supplemented by validation studies on open datasets and advances in robotics.

PLF-Hub research aims to substantially advance the livestock farming sector as well as improve the economic stability of rural areas. PLF-Hub focuses on validation of developed PLF tools (real-time algorithms) on its network of associated commercial farms. Interaction between the user, the animal and technology is at the centre of interest at PLF-Hub. In this context, the activities of the PLF-Hub are aimed at contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDG ), in particular to ‘No Poverty’ (G1), ‘Zero Hunger’ (G2), ‘Good Health and Well-being’ (G3), ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ (G6), ‘Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure’ (G9), ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ (G12), ‘Climate Action’ (G13) and ‘Life on Land’ (G15).

Our offices are located at Vetmeduni campus in Vienna  and at VetFarm, one hour drive from Vienna, where engineering research staff works in close collaboration with vets and animal scientists. Focus of our research is on validation of developed models on real-time data collected on our research farms, presentation of results in real-time dashboards and exploration of relationship between users of PLF technology and the animals on farms. In our List of Projects you will find exciting examples of our research (See our list of projects 1).

PLF-Hub together with its core collaborative partners at Vetmeduni Vienna (BBT and ITT) has published over 40 scientific publications in international journals, conference proceedings and books (See our list of publications 2) in the last few years. We are collaborating with many scientific teams worldwide.

You are invited to visit our offices at Vetmeduni campus in Vienna and at VetFarm, Kremesberg, Lower Austria 3. Our office at VetFarm is located in particularly scenic countryside area.   

 

Enjoy our webpages and don’t hesitate to contact us whenever you wish.

 

Kind regards,

 

Maciej Oczak

 

Dr. Maciej Oczak, MSc, PhD

Coordinator of PLF-Hub

Maciej.Oczak@vetmeduni.ac.at