£1m boost for aquaculture supply chain innovation

14 Mar 2017
Aquaculture is a priority sector for HIE and of growing importance to Scotland’s economy

Aquaculture is a priority sector for HIE and of growing importance to Scotland’s economy

A £1 million pilot programme to boost innovation in aquaculture in the Highlands and Islands seeks to helping small to medium enterprises (SMEs) achieve greater commercialisation of new innovative products and services.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has approved the funding package and will run the 30-month programme in conjunction with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). The pilot is expected to attract a similar level of funding from the private sector.

Heather Jones, SAIC CEO, said: “Through our extensive engagement with companies large and small across the supply chain, it became clear that SMEs in the HIE region would benefit from and openly welcome, support to innovate and grow.”

To see those early discussions result in this new pilot scheme is a truly landmark moment and shows just how much can be achieved when different players unite over a shared goal.”

Projects selected for funding will have clear commercial outcomes. Together they are expected to boost industry turnover in the region by around £8 million and create up to 50 jobs, including many in fragile areas.

Aquaculture is a priority sector for HIE and of growing importance to Scotland’s economy. In the Highlands and Islands the sector is deemed crucial to rural economies.

The sector is estimated to contribute as much as £1.8 billion turnover a year to the Scottish economy and support around 8,000 jobs.

The Aquaculture Growth Strategy 2030, ‘A Strategic Plan for Farming Scotland’s Seas’, states the industry has potential for this to increase to £3.6 billion and 18,000 jobs by 2030.

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