The announcement was made at the Aquaculture UK Gala Dinner, following days’ worth of sifting, shortlisting and scoring by a judging panel consisting of Stuart Fancey, Director of Research & Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council; Mark Begbie, Business Development Director at sister Innovation Centre, CENSIS; and Heather Jones, SAIC CEO.
Ms Jones commented: “To say the judging panel was impressed by the quantity and quality of entries for the Aquaculture Innovation Award would be an understatement. However Ace Aquatec emerged as the unanimous winner. Innovation is at the very heart of everything they do, be it humane slaughter, seal scarers or biomass measurement – all of which is relevant not just to the salmon industry or Scottish industry at large but to other aquaculture sectors around the world.”
Managing Director of Ace Aquatec, Nathan Pyne-Carter, was presented with the award – a sky, land and seascape by local Stirling artists Ann Aitchison and David Mackay – in front of a 600-strong industry audience.
commenting on the award, Mr Pyne-Carter said: “Ace Aquatec is a small company and a lot of our resources go into R&D, so it’s great to have it acknowledged that it is money well spent. It’s important too to acknowledge the many farm managers whose support and feedback helps us to fine-tune our technologies, as well as the funding bodies who have supported us over the years. These include Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, BBRSC and SMART: Scotland.”
Also recognised were TFI Marine who were highly commended for their detailed, scientifically-underpinned engineering solution to anchoring, using a novel material of applicability to aquaculture as well as other marine uses such as renewables; and Xelect who were commended for their ability to apply novel technologies to multiple species around the world.