Open until 20 April 2020, the fund is seeking a new tranche of applicants with plans to transform the future landscape for seafood supply including aquaculture.
Aquaculture projects funded in 2019 include the development of Inocubot 2; an artificially intelligent robot designed to improve fish welfare and deliver economic efficiencies for fish farms. A project to create two new, high-value products for human consumption hopes to show off seaweed as a nutritious treat, and explore fertile opportunities to expand the UK’s kelp farming industry.
Professor Fiona Lettice, chair of the UK Seafood Innovation Fund Steering Group and pro-vice chancellor of research and innovation at the University of East Anglia, said: “We are looking for projects that can genuinely transform or disrupt the seafood industry. These should be innovative ideas that aim to make a significant improvement to the future sustainability, profitability and efficiency of any part of the seafood sector.”
Launching its second open call for applications, Professor Lettice emphasises that SIF is also searching beyond the seafood sector: “We are keen to hear from innovative thinkers in tech, engineering, data science and app development, whose expertise could bring new insights to benefit the future of UK seafood.”
Collaborative consortia, that bring together established and new players for the first time, are also welcomed.
UK Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, said: “We want a profitable and sustainable fisheries industry that can take every advantage of the opportunities as we become an independent coastal state. Adopting new technologies and innovating will be key to ensuring a renaissance for an industry at the heart of so many coastal communities around the UK.”
Applicants can apply for up to £50,000 for a three-month feasibility study, or up to £250,000 to fund a research and development (R&D) project running for up to 18 months. Match funding is not essential, and all applications are subject to a highly competitive external review process.
For further information on how to apply visit https://www.seafoodinnovation.fund/apply/.