UK seafood innovation fund sends out third call for disruptive ideas
Innovators with new solutions to challenges faced by the U.K. aquaculture and fisheries sectors, and the seafood supply chain, are again able to apply for UK Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) support, following the opening of a third round of funding.
Open from 6 October, 2021, through 7 January, 2022, SIF’s Call 3 is looking to fund feasibility studies for up to five months and to a maximum value of GBP 50,000 (USD 67,751, EUR 58,740). In particular, the fund is looking for projects that test new ideas or approaches that will provide long-term, practical benefits to the seafood industry.
Unlike in previous rounds, full research and development projects will not be considered, which will allow the program to direct a larger proportion of available funds to encourage new, unique ideas, SIF said.
For applications that are successful in gaining funding from Call 3, which then go on to demonstrate a successful project outcome, there will be an opportunity to apply for follow-on funding through a closed call.
In addition to the opening of Call 3, the fund recently awarded an additional GBP 1.5 million (USD 2 million, EUR 1.8 million) of follow-on funding to SIF-funded feasibility studies that showed demonstrable promise and applicability in their project results from previous rounds.
This support has been allocated to nine projects, each now progressing with research and development, and testing their ideas in real-world scenarios.
One such project is investigating the potential use of sea cucumbers as bioremediators in Scottish salmon pens, with initial work demonstrating that 70 percent of the organic matter can be removed using just 10 sea cucumbers per square meter. Led by Blue Remediation, the project team is now running in-situ trials, to measure the effectiveness of the technique and the process’ direct impact on the seabed.
Another aquaculture-based project due to commence at-sea trials is seeking to engineer the first commercial fish-pen suitable for use in open sea conditions, while an inshore fishing project is trialing climate-friendly electric outboard motors on small vessels.
To-date the fund, which began in 2019, has supported 65 projects across the United Kingdom, with previous projects not only delivering new technologies, but also investigating consumer habits, market gaps, animal welfare issues, and the circular economy.