UK seafood innovation fund offers additional GBP 3 million

U.K. fishing vessels.

A fourth round of funding from the GBP 100 million (USD 113.4 million, EUR 114.2 million) UK Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) has opened, with the government project providing GBP 3 million (USD 3.4 million, EUR 3.4 million) of funding for new solutions that help address challenges across the sector. 

The new funds take the total funding made available under the scheme to-date to GBP 19 million (USD 21.5 million, EUR 21.7 million), with SIF’s administrators saying the latest round will support more pioneering research testing new ideas and approaches to provide long-term, practical, and scalable benefits to the seafood industry. 

The fund is open to innovators across fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood supply chain, with funding provided up to 18 months. There is no cap on the amount an applicant can apply for, although a strong emphasis on value for money must be demonstrated in the proposal. 

Since its launch in 2019, SIF has supported almost 100 projects across the U.K., with previous projects pushing new technologies, as well as investigating consumer habits, market gaps, animal welfare issues, and the circular economy. 

“Britain has a brilliant fishing and aquaculture industry, and we are backing their cutting-edge ideas in order to help the British economy to grow,” U.K. Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena said. “Through the GBP 100 million UK Seafood Fund, we are funding ambitious projects using the latest science and technology to unlock potential across the seafood sector and supply chain.”

In the fourth round of funding, SIF is looking to further diversify the range of work funded and said it will welcome applicants and collaborations from across the country that draw together knowledge from the seafood sector and beyond and that apply novel solutions to sustainability challenges.

U.K. Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) Minister Mark Spencer said the additional GBP 3 million being made available is about giving the seafood industry a boost and laying the groundwork for its success in the future.  

“I encourage fishermen, businesses, and experts from across the sector to come forward and apply to help secure our seafood industry for generations to come,” he said.

Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) CEO Heather Jones said SIF was “building on the success of previous rounds” by again inviting innovative applied solutions to boost the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of the U.K.’s seafood sector.

“Applications that address the commercial needs faced by those seeking to farm the seas responsibly, those operating in sustainable wild-caught fisheries, and those who can see ways to improve seafood product quality and shelf-life are warmly welcomed from all quarters of the UK,” she said. 

The fund will accept applications until midday on 7 December, 2022. SIF is administered by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) on behalf of Defra.

Photo courtesy of Chris Lawrence Travel/Shutterstock


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