The initiative- Combating Endemic Diseases of Farmed Animals for Sustainability (CEDFAS)- is led by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and backed by the Scottish Executive.
It will tackle some of the UK's most widespread endemic diseases that cost farmers hundreds of millions of pounds a year and cause significant welfare problems.
£11.5m has been dedicated to 10 projects across the UK, that will use cutting edge bioscience to study the diseases and generate a better understanding of how they spread and behave. Some of the projects have received additional funding from Defra and industrial partners.
Examples of projects include bovine TB, post-weaning multi-systematic wasting syndrome (PMWS) in pigs, bovine mastisis and footrot in sheep.
It is hoped that the research will improve the sustainability of UK farming by ultimately reducing the cost of treating diseases and the loss of affected livestock.