The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) is inviting project proposals on two key areas for the aquaculture industry: sustainable feeds and rapid diagnostics solutions. Both feeds and rapid diagnostics are among SAIC’s Priority Innovation Areas, having been identified by industry and academia as key challenges and opportunities for Scottish aquaculture.
Funding under the new project calls is available for applications of varying sizes and scope, from small quick-insight projects to larger multi-business collaborations. To be eligible, expressions of interest must be led by an industry partner.
The open calls were issued following two well-attended SAIC workshops in January, at which industry specialists and researchers discussed their research needs and agendas.
Attending the feeds workshop, Professor Brett Glencross, newly appointed Professor of Nutrition at the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling, said, “Feed companies are seeking safe, secure, sustainable and affordable supplies of feed ingredients from multiple sources, from animals to crops, and from microbial proteins to seaweeds and invertebrates. There are many interesting avenues for applied research in this area, and the SAIC seminar helpfully stimulated thinking with the academic and industrial communities.”
Heather Jones, CEO of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, added: “These two project calls will help us address the industry’s concerns. When we asked delegates at our Annual Event, in November 2015, to identify Scottish aquaculture’s major challenges, 25% of respondents mentioned the sustainable supply of feed ingredients.”
She continued: “On both calls – rapid diagnostics solutions and sustainable feed – we welcome ideas of varying scale. At one end, we’re interested in rapid response projects, which offer a quick insight or ‘fast succeed / fail\' test into the potential of new areas of exploration; at the other, we also encourage multi-party applications which may bring several industry interests together to work on issues of common interest. The important thing for all proposals is that they’re commercially relevant.”
Rapid diagnostics solutions
Submissions for SAIC funding for rapid diagnostics projects should fall within one of three areas:
• indicators of health / condition (biomarkers, pre-bath treatment assessment; fitness / performance; stress monitoring; and prevention)
• precursors to gill disease (multi-factorial approach)
• husbandry (smoltification; sea lice sensitivity; Saprolegnia; bacterial loading; cleaner-fish health).
The deadline for expressions of interest on rapid diagnostics solutions is 16 March 2016.
Submissions for SAIC funding for sustainable feed projects should focus on one of the following areas:
• health effects of feeding, including gut microbiome, changes in diet and susceptibility to disease
• sources of EPA/DHA
• alternative protein sources, locally sourced, low environmental impact.
The deadline for expressions of interest on sustainable feeds is 21 March 2016.