Sarah Riddle joins SAIC in the newly-created role of business engagement director. Photo: SAIC.

Former salmon industry executive takes key SAIC role

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has appointed a business engagement director. Sarah Riddle, whose role will be to help drive innovation and support overall growth across the aquaculture sector, has more than 17 years of experience in the industry.

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Riddle former jobs include UK sales manager for salmon producer Scottish Sea Farms and commercial director for Alness salmon processor Aquascot.

In her work with Northern Light Consulting - which will continue alongside her new role - Riddle has provided strategic support for organisations such as the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), and has helped many businesses to secure funding and deliver innovation, research and development projects in the aquaculture sector, said SAIC in a press release.

Business engagement director is a newly created role, in which Riddle will lead a programme of engagement to support SAIC’s £10 million Phase II strategy.

Engaging with SMEs

The innovation centre’s plans for the next five years include a significant focus on engaging with small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to drive innovation and is also prioritising initiatives to support the Scottish aquaculture sector through the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Riddle, who lives in the Highlands, said aquaculture was a sector she was “truly fascinated by”.

“Aquaculture offers fantastic opportunities for Scotland, and education and collaboration undoubtedly play a key role in its growth.

Future-proofing aquaculture

“Compared to other means of food production, aquaculture may still be in its infancy, but it has the power to feed the world. As with any farming operation, however, sustainability is paramount, and I’m excited to support innovative developments that can help to future-proof the sector.”  

SAIC chief executive Heather Jones said: “As well as bringing a wealth of experience to the role, Sarah has built meaningful relationships with key players in the sector, which will be invaluable in encouraging collaboration and innovation.”