BioMar marks first year of ATC Patagonia R&D facility
Aquaculture feed supplier BioMar said that its ATC Patagonia research and development facility in Chile has successfully completed its first year and reached 75 percent of its research capacity during 2017.
In a statement, BioMar said that the facility, announced in February 2017, worked with 12 projects focused on three species: Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, and coho salmon, at different stages of their development.
The ATC Patagonia facility is linked to BioMar’s Trondheim, Norway R&D headquarters, where its researchers defined the technical requirements and protocols for each project. This included research related to feed performance, fillet quality, the development and control of raw materials and on health areas and the use of probiotics. Around 50 percent of trials are geared on improving performance, 20 percent on fillet quality, and the remaining 30 percent on health and raw materials.
The facility received support from Chile’s investment and development agency Corfo, of around CLP 740 million (USD 1.2 million, EUR 1 million).
The mission of ATC Patagonia also incudes the creation of a “dialogue and scientific discussion” among stakeholders in Chile’s aquaculture industry. As part of this effort, BioMar researchers recently held four workshops in the city of Puerto Montt. Topics included their results and applications in diets for salmon and trout in both freshwater and seawater.
"One of the positive externalities that we hoped to achieve by increasing investment in research in Chile was to bring our researchers closer to our customers, and this expectation was achieved with success," Michael Adler, technical director of BioMar in Chile, said.
As part of the agreement, BioMar has also started building its own offices and facilities at the ATC Patagonia location, and Adler said the firm hopes to see results soon.
For 2018, ATC Patagonia has a trials schedule and BioMar’s Chile unit will also work on activities related to product validation, as it relates to performance and digestibility.