A salmon farm in Scotland. Improving farmed fish health and welfare and unlocking sustainable growth in the sector are two areas of research being supported by SAIC's R&D Funding Boost.

‘Strong’ bids received for £50k aquaculture research grants

Innovation centre chief 'encouraged by the number and quality of applications'


Scotland’s Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has begun examining applications for its latest round of research and development grants of up to £50,000.

Innovators were invited to apply to the R&D Funding Boost scheme in August, with the deadline reached last week.

The initiative is intended as an extra push to help existing research reach its full impact – or alternatively to fund new research that is shorter-term and lower-cost than the projects typically supported through SAIC’s other funding streams.

Heather Jones: Strong field "is a clear indication that the appetite for helping solve sector challenges".

“Our R&D Funding Boost closed Wednesday, 6 September, and we were encouraged by the number and quality of applications received. The strong field of submissions is a clear indication that the appetite for helping solve sector challenges through collaborative research is as strong as ever,” SAIC chief executive Heather Jones told Fish Farming Expert.

“The applications are now being reviewed both internally and by our independent scientific panel, with final funding decisions being made by the end of November. At the end of this process, we look forward to announcing the successful projects and – in due course – seeing how they will advance knowledge and best practice in the areas of finfish health and welfare, unlocking sector capacity for sustainable growth, or the production of shellfish and other non-finfish species.”

Projects must have a duration of nine months or less, completing no later than September 2024. They must demonstrate a clear industry need, draw on research expertise, and include cash or in-kind match-funding by the commercial partners.

To be eligible for funding, projects must involve at least one Scottish higher education institution and at least one industry partner with a registered office in Scotland.