Aquaculture Innovation Challenge names five finalists

The 2019 Aquaculture Innovation Challenge, a competition designed to encourage innovation in Indonesia’s shrimp aquaculture sector, has named five finalists, with a winner to be chosen on 28 June.

All five finalists will receive mentoring from business coaches from representatives of the business, financial, and scientific sectors. The winner will be awarded USD 50,000 (EUR 43,400) and admission to Hatch Blue’s three-month aquaculture accelerator program, and given access to the business incubator’s global network of industry professionals and investors, adding up to a cash and in-kind prize worth USD 100,000 (EUR 86,800), in exchange for a small equity stake.

The contest is organized by the Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal (STIP), Solidaridad Network, Fresh Studio, and Bogor Agricultural University, with support provided by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Hatch Blue, and The Walton Family Foundation.

"It's great for the AIC to support the Indonesian shrimp industry to become more sustainable, through the support of these promising innovations, an additional success to see several Indonesia-based innovations reach the finals. They are a part of the Indonesian shrimp industry, which this rendition of the AIC aims to support,” STIP Operational Manager Sander Visch said.

The finalists include:

  • Autofeeder for shrimp hatcheries: an auto-feeder designed specifically for small-scale shrimp hatcheries. Judges lauded the device for being affordable and simple to use.
  • SUPA: A solar-powered aeration device that transfers heat to the bottom of shrimp ponds, inducing convection-based circulation and increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. The judges praised the product for being inexpensive to operate and usable by remote and off-grid farmers. 
  • Venambak: The maker of an “Affordable Ammonia Reducer,” a hybrid ammonia products that reduces the amount of product required, creating less waste and making it more affordable to smallholder farmers. 
  • Vitomolt:  Vitomolt makes phytoecdysteroid, a plant extract that mimics the moulting hormone in crustaceans, which is then added to shrimp feed. The hormone has shown itself to increase protein retention rates, reducing the amount of feed needed, according to the company. 
  • Wittaya Aqua: Wittaya AquaOp is a software platform that collects and stores data, allowing farmers to predict growth, production, and feeding requirements. 

Each of the finalists will travel to a Putri Island Resort near Jakarta, Indonesia, from 24 to 27 June for a three-day immersive learning experience, followed by the final competition on 28 June, where they will make presentations on their products and business plans. The presentations will be scored based on the level of product innovation and the impact the product might have in Indonesia’s shrimp aquaculture sector.

“Both the boot camp and the pitching event will offer the innovators the opportunity to gain valuable experience and professional feedback, fine-tuning their business models and pitches. Furthermore, it is an opportunity for innovators to be in the spotlight for their potential impact on Indonesian shrimp production,” STIP said in a press release.

Photo courtesy of Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal


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