The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has launched a new call for proposals for innovation projects that can help increase the economic impact and reduce the environmental footprint of Scottish aquaculture.

Applications that cover the integration of multiple species, such as multitrophic aquaculture, are particularly encouraged in this latest call, which will build on the investment of GBP 9.4 million (USD 12.6 million, EUR 11.2 million) in some 65 collaborative research projects to date.

With grant funding available to take commercially relevant ideas and concepts to the next stage, SAIC said chosen projects must focus on an area of key priority for the aquaculture sector, including innovations for continued improvement in fish biology, regeneration, and environmental practices.

The center said that projects must help support the Scottish aquaculture sector and its associated supply chain, and be aligned to its priority innovation areas of supporting finfish health and welfare, unlocking additional capacity in the sector, or a focus on shellfish and other non-finfish species.

To qualify, research teams submitting proposals must also include an industry partner working collaboratively with at least one Scottish higher education institution. In return, SAIC will provide as much as 50 percent of the overall project costs.

“By working together to develop ground-breaking science and data-driven approaches we can secure Scotland’s future as a producer of high-quality seafood that is reared to the best possible standards,” SAIC CEO Heather Jones  said. “SAIC is committed to supporting innovation that enhances fish well-being, supports rural communities, and contributes to Scotland’s economy, and we hope to see a range of ideas from across the sector submitted as proposals for funding.”

Expressions of interest must be submitted by 8 December 2021, and the projects must be ready to begin by 1 June, 2022, with collaboration agreements in place four weeks after funding has been awarded.  

Image courtesy of Lukassek/Shutterstock

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