SAIC secures GB£10m aquaculture funding

SAIC During its first five-year phase, SAIC turned its initial project funding package of GB£6.75m into a portfolio valued at GB£42.6m. Image: SAIC

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has received a GB£10m, five-year funding package to support the sustainable growth of the sector and help re-affirm Scotland’s position as a global leader in innovation and seafood production.

The investment – provided by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) – is expected to be supplemented by an additional GB£3.5m secured from third parties, ranging from competitive grants to income generated through services.

David Gregory, chairman of SAIC, said that the success of the organisation is reflected in its funding. “The level of investment from industry is testament to that success: our original goal was to attract £1 of industry investment for every £1 we spent on projects, but we have delivered significantly more than that. The projects have been industry-relevant, attracting hard cash from partners and delivering outcomes that could make a real difference.”

During its first five-year phase, SAIC turned its initial project funding package of GB£6.75m into a portfolio valued at GB£42.6m, spread across 47 initiatives.

Five-year focus

In its phase two strategy for the next five years, SAIC said it plans to drive innovation by leveraging new sources of funding and bringing multiple partners together from across the UK, particularly focusing on engaging with SMEs; and develop aquaculture skills and talent across Scotland through a focussed programme. This will include a mentoring scheme; helping the growth of the Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) network; and, for the first time, working with undergraduates and schools to build awareness of aquaculture as a career;

It will also share innovation throughout the industry by organising workshops, conferences, and disseminating information in new ways over the next five years. The innovation centre will host Gill Health Initiative 2020 in April next year in a bid to inspire and share new ideas around an important industry priority.

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