Aqua Gen awarded 2007 Nor-Fishing Foundation Innovation Prize –

Aqua Gen awarded 2007 Nor-Fishing Foundation Innovation Prize Published:  16 August, 2007

AQUA Gen A/S has been awarded the Nor-Fishing Foundation Innovation Prize 2007 of NOK 100,000. The company won the prize for its salmon and trout egg grading machine.

The judges said it has taken a year, in co-operation with research communities, to develop a completely new machine in a field where similar equipment does not exist.

“This is a very bold initiative involving top expertise. The product has a global market.”

Grading eggs is an extremely labour-intensive process. With the current production of around 100 million units per production plant, Aqua Gen employs approximately 30 people during the production season for this demanding work. The innovation is based on machine vision, which is a mix of computer technology, optics, mechanics and industrial automation.

Broodfish and egg production have not, it is said, undergone the same technological development and efficiency improvement as the rest of the aquaculture industry. This fact is related to factors such as a relatively limited market, many players and insufficient financial clout to develop a new technology. Egg producers use selective breeding programmes to develop and produce “the new seed” for the aquaculture industry.

Aqua Gen A/S, founded in 1992, started last year a co-operation with SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture to develop the machine, for which they now receive the Innovation Prize.

Maskon AS has built the machine, which has undergone large scale testing since April.

The results show:

• Grades poor/excellent egg quality

• Counts eggs

• Measures egg size

• Minimum capacity of 100,000 eggs per hour

The Innovation Prize was introduced to encourage increased focus on innovation, efficiency improvement, quality assurance, enhanced profitability and protection of environment and resources in the fishery and aquaculture industries. The Prize is NOK 100,000 and a print by the renowned artist Karl Erik Harr. The other two candidates received a cheque of NOK 10,000 and a Diploma. The candidates are DSM Dyneema, the Netherlands, which has developed one of the strongest fibres in the world for nets used in fish farms, and QVision A/S, Oslo, for developing the instrument “QMonitor”. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.