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3.1m AquaSmart Project Helping Fish Farms

Technology & equipment Economics Education & academia +3 more

IREALAND - Irish tech experts have joined industry and research partners across the EU and Israel on a pooled research and technology project which is set to boost production and jobs in the global aquaculture industry, without harming the environment.

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The AQUASMART project focuses on developing best practice within the aquaculture sector by helping companies to transform captured data into knowledge.

The €3.1m project consortium includes prominent industrial organisations and research institutes from six countries, among them Ireland, Israel, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal and Greece.

Over the two year programme, the partners in the project will share this knowledge to improve efficiency, increase profitability and carry out business in the sector in a sustainable, environmentally- friendly way.

The exciting and practical project is co-ordinated by tech experts at Waterford Institute of Technology’s Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) and is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

It addresses actual problems that aquaculture producer’s face and carries out work in the areas of data analysis, data exchange between aquaculture companies and its related stakeholders and global knowledge access.

AQUASMART’s key objective is to strengthen the competitiveness and growth potential of the aquaculture production companies globally, according to project coordinator in Waterford, Dr Steven Davy (pictured).

“TSSG is the project coordinator for AQUASMART and, as part of our role, will design and develop the core technologies to be used for hosting and processing the aquaculture open data. To achieve this, a set of Use Cases will be generated within the project and we will use these to design and prepare the required cloud infrastructure.

“A data collection framework will be generated that includes guidelines for users on how to compile a dataset from their production data in a suitable format to perform data analysis, and then, through close cooperation with the companies in the consortium, we will provide the necessary assistance on how to use the system, interpret the results and identify problems or obstacles for the users.

“We will then cooperate with the users to evaluate the real business benefits from the use of the system. Within TSSG we will also drive the mobility aspects of the project, taking one of our current eLearning mobile app technologies and applying it in the context of AQUASMART, for use in training for the end users”, he said.

The project involves turning large volumes of heterogeneous aquaculture data into knowledge and helping companies to access and analyse global open data for the benefit of the sector, without harming the environment.

The partners will extract key knowledge from current data and experiences of the sector and, in doing so, they will be able to quickly evaluate and identify the best management practices and rapid solutions for problems or issues that arise.

AQUASMART will allow technology transfers, multilingual data collection and the development of analytics solutions and services. It will also help implement a state-of- the- art multilingual open data framework that companies can use to seamlessly access global data and take more knowledgeable decisions using multi-lingual information.

The project will also promote best practices for aquaculture production management and help develop innovations in the aquaculture sector. It is also hoped it will deliver state-of-the-art services for seamless access to and management of the open data in the cloud. Management of the training activities and material is also at the project core.

Training programme and training activities will be developed, focusing on the ICT developers who will be responsible for the development of the adapters between the native data sources and the open, big data cloud as well as focusing on the stakeholders and end users of the new, open big data cloud.

By offering aquaculture production companies these tools to access and share the global, open data and by putting them in a position to perform strong data analytics in a multilingual, multi-sector and cross-border setting, AQUASMART is strengthening the competitiveness and growth potential of these companies, Dr Davy added.

“On the social level, AQUASMART will also contribute to the development of a highly skilled workforce through on-line training programs. The improvement of the efficiency and profitability of the businesses, together with the reduction of the environmental impact, will contribute to the increase of production and the generation of new jobs in the sector,” Dr Davy concluded.