AREA 1 Fundaments of milk production and safety

Project 1.1 Feeding concepts for high-producing dairy cattle

Studies and characterizes the epimural rumen microbiome and its stimulation by efficient and natural dietary strategies as well as feed additives. Additionally, focus lies on the prevention of deleterious effects of endotoxins and other harmful compounds in the rumen through dietary means. Certain knowledge of cattle nutrition is essential to understand the high degree of physiological efficiency required by modern milk production.


Project 1.2. Cattle reproduction

Aims to improve the efficiency of cattle breeding systems.

One objective is to increase the fertilization rate through oestrus detection by a test that could be performed on-site at the farm to determine the concentration of estradiol in milk.

A further goal of this project is the development of an innovative rapid and inexpensive genotyping tool that allows paternity verification based on SNP technology.


Project 1.3 Udder health and treatment

Staphylococci, who are often associated with udder disease, are known to acquire genetic elements that allow them to become resistant to many antibiotics. This project aims to improve udder health by expanding the treatment options.

Novel antimicrobials, derived by modulating epigenetic regulation in fungi, are expected to be be found and tested against multi drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus.


Project 1.4 Milk quality and safety

The aim is to develop a new quantitative analytical procedure for the detection of spore-forming bacteria in raw milk. In this context, the diversity of relevant Clostridium and Bacillus species in the dairy industry and their influence on product quality shall be investigated.

Furthermore, the susceptibility of drinking milk to spoilage and growth of potential pathogens under different storage conditions with particular attention to consumer households will be examined.

The overall goal is an increased safety and quality of milk and milk products.


AREA 2 Constituents of competitive milk production

Project 2.1. Integrated data management

The countless heterogeneous, data and parameters recorded by various systems should be merged into an integrated data management tool. New digital approaches should help to cope with the huge amounts of detailed data and to break down the complex relationships and make them visible thus enabling a modern, efficient and safe management and decision making.


Project 2.2. Strategies to a reduced use of antibiotics in cattle

Evaluation of the impact of environmental factors for mastitis in a harmonized data generation system and recording of epidemiological data on antibiotic use, should lead the way to a national antibiotic reduction strategy in dairy cattle. Standardization of methodology and centralized data processing as pertaining to the bacteriological examination of milk samples provides the basis for the improvement of udder health programs and the development of quality assurance systems for milk.


Project 2.3. Econometrics

Increasing the management capacity in the growing milk production farms in Austria seems essential to secure the sector’s competitiveness. A management tool for the evaluation of the economic potential of individual farms and analyzing the impact of preventive measures (herd health management) on farm economies will be developed. As modern farm management practices require information about scientific advancements to be transferred as quickly as possible, a tool that serves as an effective way to transfer results from science directly to farmers and veterinarians will be developed.