Research organisation SAIC is changing its brand from “Scottish” to “sustainable”, to reflect its increasingly international membership and the importance of sustainability in aquaculture.
Formerly the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, SAIC has a new name – the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre – and a new brand, along with a new strategic focus and an expanded geographical reach.
SAIC’s membership base has grown rapidly since the beginning of 2020 – increasing by more than a quarter to around 180 members – with nearly 40% of the consortium based outside of Scotland.
SAIC said the rebrand: “…reflects SAIC’s alignment with supporting a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, prioritised by the Scottish and UK governments as well as the wider international community. It has also been instigated by the global aquaculture sector’s increasing drive to enhance sustainability through technological innovation and new ways of working.”
Future funding calls will sustainability initiatives within its priority research areas. Previous initiatives have included mitigating fish farming’s impact on seabeds, reducing the need for pharmaceutical treatments, developing new raw materials for feed, and reducing or eliminating waste.
Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: “SAIC’s rebrand is a lot more than just a change of name – it’s a reflection of the times we live in and the opportunity our sector has in front of it. Sustainable aquaculture has so much to contribute to an uncertain world facing a range of challenges, not least the climate crisis and delivering a green economic recovery from Covid-19. There is a great deal of untapped potential to increase farmed fish and shellfish production, providing responsibly sourced, high-quality, healthy protein to the world’s growing population and supporting skilled jobs.”
She stressed that SAIC remains “highly committed” to Scotland and intends to build on its investment there, but added that the organisation’s reach and ambition are now wider
In December 2020, SAIC announced it had coordinated £2.2m from academia, businesses, and its own investment to fund sustainability-focused projects. The initiatives range from measures to enhance fish health and wellbeing to improvements to environmental sensing technology.
To date, the organisation says, for every £1 SAIC has invested in projects £4.90 has been raised from other sources, underpinning Scotland’s aquaculture sector’s ambition to double its economic contribution to £3.6bn by 2030, supporting 18,000 jobs.