SAIC in call for innovative ideas

SAIC has opened the competition for new research funding

Funding for bright ideas to make aquaculture more sustainable and increase its economic contribution is on offer from the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).

SAIC is calling for proposals for innovative projects that focus on an area of key priority for the aquaculture sector: innovations for continued improvement in fish biology, regeneration and environmental practices, with grant funding available to take commercially relevant ideas and concepts to the next stage.

Research teams submitting proposals must include an industry partner working collaboratively with at least one Scottish higher education institution.

SAIC said that, for this latest funding call, it would particularly encourage applications that cover the integration of multiple species, such as multitrophic aquaculture. Teams have until 8 December to submit an expression of interest and must be ready for projects to begin by 1 June 2022 with collaboration agreements in place four weeks after funding has been awarded.

At their core, SAIC said, projects must be innovative in their approach or lead to innovative solutions that will help support the Scottish aquaculture sector and associated supply chain. They must be aligned to SAIC’s priority innovation areas: supporting finfish health and welfare; unlocking additional capacity in the sector; or focusing on shellfish and other non-finfish species.

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: “Sustainable aquaculture has a crucial role to play in meeting the increasing global demand for protein and collaborative research can unlock significant opportunities to transform and future-proof the sector. 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 will provide as much as 50% of the overall project costs and is looking for ideas that can demonstrate long-term commercial impacts and opportunities for widespread knowledge sharing, contributing to the sector’s overarching ambition for sustainable growth as well as SAIC’s aim to increase the economic impact and reduce the environmental footprint of aquaculture.

To date, SAIC has invested around £9.37m for 65 collaborative research projects. For every £1 invested by SAIC, the innovation centre has so far generated an additional £3 of industry investment.

For more information and to complete an expression of interest form, visit www.sustainableaquaculture.com/funding/