The initial round of the Aquaculture Innovation Challenge (AIC) is complete, with 17 of 56 applicants moving onto the second round, contest organizers announced on 18 April.
A panel of judges was tasked with grading each proposal individually, selecting innovations that held the most promise and potential to progress into the later rounds of the challenge. Among the successful proposals moving forward in the competition are six out of the 23 initial Design applicants, with innovations in their early stages; eight out of the 23 Demonstration applicants, who presented fully conceptualized innovations; and three out of the six applicants entered in the Upscaling category, where innovations already have proof of concept and an operational business.
The judges remarked on the “multitude of interesting innovations showing their potential to realize the positive change in the Indonesian shrimp sector,” which is what the AIC initiative aims to foster. Technology and techniques entered into the competition included those focused on improving feed and feed conversion, disease mitigation, farm process optimization, and more.
“We look forward to learning more about the 17 that continue this journey with us as the innovators provide more details about the practical implementation, the business case and the positive impact of their idea. The judges were all encouraged by the quality of these innovations and look forward to getting a more in-depth understanding, through the business plans delivered in Round-2,” the judges said in a press release.
The following are the applicants still in the running for AIC, as listed by the contest’s organizers:
- iESha: This innovation develops ways to increase the area available at the bottom of shrimp ponds. This will allows for higher stocking density creating better sustainability and profitability.
- Affordable Ammoniac Reducer: This innovation is a new, and affordable way to reduce the ammonia build up within shrimp ponds. They use cheap and readily available products, and by using sensors they aim to optimize the process, enduring health and growth of the shrimp.
- Quorum sensing-degrading bacterium: An innovation directly aimed at reducing diseases in the shrimp industry by listening to the language of bacteria and disrupting the process of pathogen production resulting in a disease outbreak.
- Smart Anco: Smart Anco reinvents the ordinary feed tray to ease farmers' operations and increase productivity. By using new technical innovations combined with IOT, they aim to push the shrimp sector forward.
- Seaweed grass as fertilizer: This innovation will help a large part of the Indonesian shrimp farmers by providing a natural product to improve the quality of the soil and water, improving their profitability and sustainability.
- Automatic feeder for shrimp hatcheries: An automatic feeder is rarely seen in the smaller hatcheries in Indonesia, while shrimp larvae have a continuous demand for feed. This innovation targets that group with a reasonably priced feeder.
- Vitomolt: As the growth of shrimp is key to the performance of a farm, this innovation helps shrimp grow faster by using a natural extract.
- Intensification of White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) Aquaculture System: This innovation brings the production of shrimp closer to the market by designing a high-quality intensive rearing system, reducing the pressure on mangrove areas as well.
- Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC): The ASIC Shrimp improvement program aims to incentivize better performance and subsequently rewards producers for achieving them. ASIC hopes to stabilize the way producers operate and make them more efficient, bring them more value from a variety of markets, and ideally, make them investable in the future.
- Wittaya Aqua: Wittaya’s innovative production and feeding management helps farmers achieve increased profitability and sustainability by improving production efficiency and reducing waste outputs.
- Integrated Seawater Aquaculture Systems (ISAS): This innovation targets effluents from shrimp farms. By an innovative system, they are able to treat effluent from intensive shrimp farms and offer a new source of income for farmers.
- Synbiothermal: As disease is still a prominent problem in the sector, this innovation helps farmers to overcome these problems. Synbiothermal is a product which can be included in an early stage of the supply chain, helping farmers overcome the problems of on-site application of products.
- Heterofermentative Microbes: Diseases on shrimp farms occur when pathogens have established a certain density in the pond. The heterofermentative microbes are able to reduce the growth of pathogens and thereby limiting the risk of disease outbreaks.
- SUPA: Dissolved oxygen (DO) is one of the most critical aspects of water quality in aquaculture systems. SUPA provides a technology which increases circulation in the pond reducing the change of low DO levels. The innovation is developed for rural and off-grid area's and requires no maintenance.
- Synbiotics: Shrimp farms may resort to high water exchanges to keep the water quality stable, however, this has a direct impact on the environment. Synbiotics applies the best of fermentation and prebiotics, to improve the quality of the water, reducing the need for high discharges of effluent.
- KnipBio: As the demand for farmed fish grows, the pressure on these wild fish populations have become too great to support further growth. KnipBio produces a nutritionally complete single cell protein to reduce the need for wild-sourced proteins.
- Probiotic RICA: Diseases have a great impact on farmers profitability, but the use of probiotics can be ineffective to overcome this problem. Probiotic RICA uses local bacteria to make probiotics, which results in better performance of the probiotic.
Image courtesy of the Aquaculture Innovation Challenge