Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre receives £10 million funding package

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The investment, provided by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), to supplement additional GBP 3.5 million already secured.

In a press release, the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) writes that it has secured £10 million in public funding for the next five years to support innovation, following a successful first phase – through the delivery of projects valued at GBP 42.6 million.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland’s Innovation Centres have the potential to have a transformational effect on our economy. The Government is working hard to ensure the aquaculture industry continues to thrive, and today’s announcement means the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre will remain a catalyst for growth in a key national industry which enjoys international success, securing future jobs and sustainable economic growth.”

This year it has worked on initiatives such as Scottish Sea Farms’ and BioMar’s effort to double efforts in gill health. It said that its also playing a key role to sustainably double the sector’s economic contribution from GBP 1.8 billion in 2016 to GBP 3.6 billion by 2030. The innovation centre has also brokered relationships between the industry and its stakeholders, particularly through the establishment of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group (AILG).

SAIC Chairman David Gregory added his organisation was playing a central role in Scottish salmon farming and aquaculture: “SAIC was built to do things differently. We have sought to act as a fulcrum for industry, the public sector, and academia, bringing everyone with an interest in aquaculture together for the good of the Scottish economy. We have also helped the industry deal with some of its biggest challenges – which individual businesses, or even groups of companies, wouldn’t have been able to tackle on their own – through access to academic expertise and applied research.

“The level of investment from industry is testament to that success: our original goal was to attract GBP 1 of industry investment for every GBP 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. We have also encouraged the industry to talk about the good work that is being done and re-invent the way it shares information, not only with itself, but the wider world too.”