Improving animal health is a key factor to address today’s global challenges. It is an essential component to improve animal welfare, to secure the provision of safe and nutritious food of a growing world population, to improve livelihoods and stimulate economic growth in rural areas and to reduce natural resource use and climate emissions of the livestock sector. At the same time, global changes such as increased mobility of people and animals, changing consumer behaviours and climate change are altering disease risk and leading to disease spill-over events between animals and humans. Public and private sectors act upon these challenges and invest in research for the development of new animal health solutions. This has improved our knowledge on pathogens & immune mechanisms and led to the development of new medicines, diagnostics and control methods. But with the renewed attention for the control of infectious diseases, what are the most pressing gaps that need to be filled, and where will future research have the largest impact?

The symposium will draw on the DISCONTOOLS and STAR-IDAZ IRC initiatives to identify current research gaps and provide road maps for public and private innovations in animal health. It hopes to bring together scientists, policy makers, and representatives from the animal health industry, funding bodies and stakeholder organisations to enhance collaboration for animal health and discuss research priorities from different perspectives.


With DISCONTOOLS having completed the update of 53 disease chapters, the time is right to summarise the gaps in control tools, identify disease-specific as well as cross-cutting research needs and define the path towards required new control tools. The symposium aims to:

  • - Highlight DISCONTOOLS animal health research gaps for epizootic, enzootic and zoonotic animal diseases;
  • - Disseminate STAR-IDAZ research road maps for new animal health solutions;
  • - Couple the research gaps and road maps with recent and future animal health funding initiatives (Horizon Europe,  European Partnership Animal Health & Welfare);
  • - Increase the mutual understanding of animal health research needs by different stakeholders;
  • - Discuss animal health research priorities to deliver on the sustainable development goals.


The symposium will be structured as follows:

(1) Identifying research gaps, with an overarching and cross-cutting analysis of information contained in the DISCONTOOLS database, followed by a number of disease-specific case reports.

(2) Collaborating for animal health, diving into public-private partnership needs to deliver the new required diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and key knowledge for animal health.

(3) Filling the gaps, covering the STAR-IDAZ IRC research coodination approach and the status of the planned European Partnership for Animal Health & Welfare under Horizon Europe.

(4) We will close with a panel discussion involving various stakeholders of animal health on how to evolve DISCONTOOLS and on disease and cross-cutting research priorities.

Target Audience

The symposium welcomes scientists, academics, research managers, policy-makers from governmental and non-governmental organisations, actors from the animal health industry and stakeholder organisations and representatives of international and national funding bodies, foundations and trusts.


Please click here to register. This event will be streamed. Indicate your presence (in person vs. virtual) at check-out during the registration process. Registration closes at 13 October 2021 24:00 CET.

Other questions? Please contact


Submission of poster abstracts is now closed. If your poster abstract was accepted, you need to bring your poster to the event and hang it out on a designated panel. Recommended poster size is 90 x 120 cm (A0).

Venue and Hotel

The event takes place in the heart of Brussels at Bedford Hotel and Congress Centre , Rue du Midi 135, 1000 Bruxelles. You can download a hotel booking form here

The venue will take specific measures to organise a safe event according the prevailing COVID recommendations and legislation. Cancellation policy: If the event needs to be cancelled, a new date will be scheduled and your ticket will remain valid.


Moderator: Florence Ranson (REDComms)



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