New call launched for Scottish aquaculture innovation projects

Published on
October 27, 2022
Aquaculture in scotland with dark clouds

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) in Scotland is granting GBP 500,000 (USD 578,492, EUR 577,327) in new funding for collaborative innovation projects to help Scotland’s aquaculture sector continue research and development amid rising cost-of-living pressures.

Funds will be split between successful project proposals designed to future-proof and support the growth of the country’s aquaculture sector while minimizing environmental impacts.

Collaborative research teams, along with Scottish higher education institutions, are invited to submit their applications before the center’s 7 December, 2022 deadline.

According to SAIC, ongoing discussions across its network and members point toward “a strong pipeline of opportunities” that could progress into funded projects. 

“Particularly during challenging times, it is important to continue supporting innovation that will help to shape the future of aquaculture. Collaborative research and knowledge sharing is helping to drive the whole sector forward, making it more efficient and more sustainable so that it can continue to fulfil the rising demand for high-quality protein for years to come,” SAIC CEO Heather Jones said. 

Research teams must demonstrate "meaningful and measurable impact" for the sector and align with its three priority innovation areas: addressing environmental and health challenges, unlocking additional capacity in the sector through new technology or processes to secure sustainable growth, or focusing on shellfish and other non-finfish species.

“We look forward to receiving a range of proposals representing all parts of the sector, including initiatives that address the impact of climate change on farming conditions, as well as projects closely linked to the aims of the Farmed Fish Health Framework – a collaboration between the sector and the Scottish government," Jones said. “Scotland has a wealth of expertise and experience in aquaculture to draw upon and we are keen to support initiatives that reflect that, unlocking opportunities that support rural communities, small businesses, and a global supply chain."

Projects should be ready to begin next spring and must be completed by July 2024.

Recent SAIC-backed collaborations – including three projects valued at a combined GBP 1.1 million (USD 1.3 million, EUR 1.3 million) – involve efforts to use artificial intelligence and imaging technology to support environmental monitoring, as well as research to boost the use of cleaner fish as an effective, sustainable treatment for sea lice.

Photo courtesy of Phil Silverman/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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