SAIC invites bids for research funds

SAIC has opened the competition for new research funding

THE Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has announced significant new funding for industry led research projects.

SAIC has £2.9 million in its project pot to spend over the next five years and hopes to attract at least a further £3.5 million investment.

It will consider funding proposals up to the value of £440,000 (full project costs). This represents a SAIC contribution of up to £200,000, paid at 80 per cent full economic costs to the academic partner(s).

Proposals should be match funded by industry partners, either in the form of cash, in-kind, or a combination of the two.

In previous years, the stronger the industrial leverage, the more attractive the proposals have been – and the more likely to secure funding.

The centre also welcomes smaller scale projects of a shorter duration (that is, under £100,000 total project value, under 12 months total project duration).

SAIC opened competition for the grants on January 31 and the deadline for submissions of expressions of interest is March 12, with the deadline for full applications on May 7.

Proposals must be relevant to at least one of SAIC’s priority innovation areas, which are:

  • Addressing environmental and health challenges, particularly sea lice and gill disease, and developing feeds that optimise fish health and nutrition;
  • Unlocking additional capacity in Scottish aquaculture; and
  • Shellfish and other non-finfish species.

Proposals must be scientifically robust and will be assessed by SAIC’s independent scientific panel.

And projects must be able to demonstrate that they are leading towards potential economic benefit to the Scottish economy.

Commercial uptake and financial impact are important measures of value, as is the quality of the scientific enquiry.

Decisions on funding will be made at the SAIC board meeting on August 28, and successful applicants will be informed shortly after this date.

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