THERE have been a record number of applicants for the Aqua Nor Innovation Award, with the winner to be announced at the exhibition in Trondheim in August.
Among the entrants is at least one Scottish company, although the last winner, Dundee based Ace Aquatec, said it had not entered any of its innovations this year.
Ace Aquatec beat two Norwegian finalists in 2017 when it was recognised by the judges for its work in fish welfare, after developing the in-water electric stunner, the HSU (Humane Stunner Universal). The firm’s managing director, Nathan Pyne-Carter, picked up the award and a NOK 100,00 cheque.
This year, the Nor-Fishing Foundation, organiser of Aqua Nor, said it had received 30 applications, three more than in 2017.
Some 40 per cent of applications are from foreign applicants, with entries from Tasmania, Taiwan, the United States, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Scotland, England, Denmark (three) and Finland.
Project manager for Aqua Nor 2019, Kari Steinsbø, said there is great professional variety among candidates, and several are focused on AI (artificial intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things).
The technology will, among other things, control processes on farms and organise and collect information, to create environmental improvements, good animal welfare and a healthy economy in the aquaculture industry, said Nor-Fishing.
The applications feature RAS plants and components, the electrical operation of work vessels, the commercial utilisation of waste from fish farms, and health and safety equipment included in work clothes.
Other entries include the hiding places and transport equipment for lump fish, temperature control in the transport chain for farmed fish, and language and vocational training adapted to foreign operators entering the Norwegian aquaculture industry.
The Innovation Award has been established for more than two decades and has been important for research and development in the supplier companies, said Steinsbø.
This, in turn, has contributed to further growth in the aquaculture industry, both nationally and internationally, he added.
Nominations are now closed for the 2019 award and the jury is examining the applications. It will submit its recommendations on the three final candidates to the board of the Nor-Fishing Foundation in June.
The winner – who will receive NOK 100,000 and a diploma – will be revealed on the opening day of this year’s exhibition on August 20.
Aqua Nor is held in Trondheim Spektrum from August 20 to 23.