SAIC kickstarts feed collaborations17th March 2016
SAIC’s role is to use the strength of the research base in Scotland to address the aquaculture industry’s key issues. Bringing together researchers and businesses to identify applied research opportunities is one way we do this.
In order to stimulate commercially-relevant innovation on sustainable feeds, we organised two industry-academic events in December 2015 and January 2016.
Alternative sustainable feeds for finfish is one of SAIC’s four Priority Innovation Areas (PIAs), identified by our Consortium members as a key industry issue when we launched in 2014.
Recent feedback from SAIC’s stakeholders supports this view. At our Annual Event in 2015, we asked delegates to send us a ‘Postcard to the Future’, telling us their views on the main challenges facing Scotland’s aquaculture sector. Around a quarter of these postcards said the availability of sustainable feed for finfish is a major issue.
With that in mind, in December 2015 and January 2016 we organised two workshops on sustainable feeds, with a view to generating applied research. Researchers and businesses were encouraged to drill down into specific issues, identifying areas for discussion, action and collaboration.
Three areas were identified as priorities, and each became the focus of a session at the January workshop:
- Session 1: Health effects of feeding, including gut microbiome, changes in diet and susceptibility to disease
- Session 2: Novel sources of EPA/DHA
- Session 3: Alternative sustainable proteins.
Feedback about the workshops praised:
- the opportunity to find out “the major and current research interests of academics and also an update of the current problems facing the industry”
- “the dialogue between the representatives of industry and academia about the priority of problems to be solved”
- “the strong set of attendees” and the good opportunities to connect, interact and prioritise
- “a broad range of opinions from well-informed participants”
- “the small group discussions led to productive identification of project scope to take forward”.
So, some successful matchmaking; a gathering of expertise; and the generation of energy and action points that could lead to successful commercially-relevant projects in this area. We were delighted with the outcomes of the sessions, and are grateful to all who attended and presented.
You can download a fuller report on each workshop session’s discussions and conclusions below.