New funding door opens for UK aquaculture innovators
£3m on the table in fresh round of support
The UK Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) has launched its fourth round of funding providing £3 million of additional funding to support cutting-edge solutions that disrupt the status quo and help address challenges across the UK seafood sector.
Taking the total funding made available under the scheme to £19 m, the latest round will support more research that tests new ideas and approaches to provide long-term, practical, and scalable benefits to the seafood industry.
Open to innovators across fisheries, aquaculture and the seafood supply chain, funding will be provided for up to 18 months and there is no cap on the amount an applicant can apply for, although a strong emphasis on value for money must be demonstrated in the proposal.
Part of the UK government's £100 million UK Seafood Fund, SIF launched in 2019 and has since supported almost 100 projects across the UK.
Examples of previous projects include InsPro Ltd that trialled the process of feeding farmed fish with insects raised on local food waste.
Another of SIF’s high-profile projects, led by Fishtek Marine and best known as “Scallop Discos”, recently worked to refine a novel and low-impact method to catch scallops using illuminated pots.
In Round 4, SIF is looking to further diversify the range of work funded. The Fund welcomes applicants and collaborations from across the UK that draw together knowledge from the seafood sector and beyond, and apply novel solutions to sustainability challenges. SIF is keen to see ideas aimed at benefiting capture fisheries or the supply chain, as well as aquaculture and other parts of the sector.
Heather Jones, chief executive of the Stirling-based Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), sits on the Seafood Innovation Fund steering group, and provides input and guidance on aquaculture innovation.
Jones said: “Building on the success of previous rounds, SIF is again inviting innovative applied solutions to boost the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of the UK’s seafood sector.
“Applications that address the commercial needs faced by those seeking to farm the seas responsibly, those operating in sustainable wild-caught fisheries, and those who can see ways to improve seafood product quality and shelf-life are warmly welcomed from all quarters of the UK.”
December 7 deadline
Call 4 opens today (September 21), and the Fund will accept applications until midday on December 7, 2022. Find more information on how to apply here, visit the SIF website: https://www.seafoodinnovation.fund/apply/.
Project teams are also being offered the opportunity to submit their innovative idea for feedback (in advance of a full application) via an Expression of Interest (EOI) form, up until October 31, 2022. The form can be found here: https://www.seafoodinnovation.fund/apply-now/
For more information on previously funded projects, and those that have received follow-on funding, visit the fund’s website.