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SAIC to expand aquaculture talent pool

26 February 2019, at 9:52a.m.

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) will launch a series of new seminars in a bid to cultivate the aquaculture talent pool and find innovative ways of tackling industry challenges.

The inaugural Aquaculture Innovation and Industry Engagement Programme (IIEP) will comprise of three sets of two-day seminars from February to April. The first of the series takes place on 27 and 28 February, with further events on 19 and 20 March and 4 and 5 April.

Mary Fraser, head of skills and talent at SAIC
Mary Fraser, head of skills and talent at SAIC

The seminars will be attended by 11 participants from industry, representing companies such as Mowi, Biomar, The Scottish Salmon Company, Scottish Sea Farms, and Dawnfresh Seafoods. They will be joined by four PhD students from the universities of Stirling, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, as well as the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), whom have been part-funded by SAIC’s doctorate programme.

Taking place at SAIC’s offices at the University of Stirling, the initiative will provide participants with the skills, tools, and methods which can be applied to some of the industry’s biggest challenges, ranging from fish welfare – including the prevention and control of sea lice – to minimising environmental impact.

Mary Fraser, head of skills and talent at SAIC, said: “Our new programme is specifically designed to drive innovation, by forging early links between aquaculture’s future leaders and equipping them with the right skills. Over the course of three months, we want to bring the worlds of academia and industry together to help them learn from one another and understand how they can work in partnership.

“As well as coming up with new ideas, our participants will look at how to discern workable ideas from the pack, develop and de-risk prototypes, and work with regulators. We’re very encouraged by the level of engagement with the programme – it has proven so popular that it is over-subscribed, underlining the appetite in aquaculture for innovation, learning, and development.”