Aquaculture for all

Stirling's new aquaculture hub lands additional £1 million funding

Education & academia Investment +1 more

The UK’s National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub (NATIH) has been awarded a £1 million Wolfson Foundation grant to support research to improve the economic, social and environmental benefits of aquaculture.

The UK’s National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub (NATIH) is due to open in 2024

Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for experimental science, NATIH was funded through £17 million of UK Government investment. Based at the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, it will allow researchers to tackle the major challenges facing aquaculture producers, working with local and international partners.

Professor Simon MacKenzie, head of the Institute of Aquaculture, said in a press release: “The call from the Wolfson Foundation was for high quality research with clear impact, and we’re delighted the judges recognised NATIH’s potential to support sustainable, resilient and secure aquatic food systems that enable health and prosperity for people and for the planet.

“Building on the initial investment by the UK Government and the Institute of Aquaculture’s global network, NATIH will enable us to build an innovation community in Stirling and Clackmannanshire that nurtures jobs and skills, turning scientific research into practical, applied solutions that support economic development in communities from rural Scotland to South America, Africa and the Middle East. We welcome further investment and partnerships.”

Chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, Paul Ramsbottom, said: “The Wolfson Foundation aims to support civil society by investing in research and education - surely ever more crucial during this challenging period.

“Our latest round of awards demonstrates the importance of capital funding for communities across the UK. The new buildings, refurbishments and equipment funded by the Foundation will support learning, enhance wellbeing and advance scientific research. While many and varied, the projects have one thing in common: they are places for people to connect, and they support imaginative and excellent work.”

NATIH, due to open in 2024, will bring together experimental aquatic facilities, including a new tropical aquarium, with state-of-the-art laboratories, and space dedicated to business incubation and acceleration.

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, said: "Scotland has a global reputation for its aquaculture expertise that underpins the prosperity of many rural and coastal communities.

"I am glad that UK Government's £17m support for the aquaculture innovation hub has already helped to unlock further investment that will secure a sustainable future for the industry."