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New Innovation Roadmap Outlines Pathway for Scottish Aquaculture Growth

Lucy Towers
28 February 2017, at 12:00am

UK - A new report on the innovation needs of the Scottish aquaculture sector has been launched at the first meeting of the Industry Leadership Group (ILG) in Inverness, attended by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.

The report – ‘Scottish aquaculture: a view towards 2030’ – follows a six-month scoping study into the innovation needs of the sector, commissioned by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) with support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and conducted by independent consultants Imani Development in partnership with SRSL.

The study used a combination of desk research, data from two key industry events, and targeted interviews with industry leaders and regulators to inform an innovation roadmap that sets out the needs of the sector according to urgency and impact, and recommends a pathway of actions through to 2030.

Addressing these actions will, in turn, help achieve the recommendations of the industry-led ‘Aquaculture Growth to 2030’ strategic plan that was published in 2016.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Stewart Graham, Managing Director of Gael Force Group and co-Chair of the ILG said: “I welcome this work which is complementary and supportive of the industry strategy set out in ‘Aquaculture Growth to 2030’. With a focus on innovation, it captures the current state of the industry, supports the strategic priorities to 2030 and outlines how to achieve them through innovative R&D. The resulting roadmap gives a clear and unified picture of what’s needed and by when.”

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC added: “Several of the issues highlighted by the report as being urgent and high-impact, such as disease, feed, licencing and regulation, and spat availability closely mirror SAIC’s own priority innovation areas which were identified by the industry during our initial engagement with the sector. We look forward to collaborating with existing and new partners alike on additional innovative R&D in these areas, and playing a core role in helping the industry achieve its growth ambitions.”

The ILG, which will meet quarterly from February 2017, is co-chaired by Jim Gallagher, Managing Director of Scottish Sea Farms, and Stewart Graham, Managing Director of Gael Force Group.