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AQUAEXCEL2020: from Research Innovation to Industry Application

AQUAEXCEL2020 COL

Press Release: September 2019

AQUAEXCEL2020 is a leading aquaculture research project funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, which integrates leading European aquaculture research facilities and enables them to work together to support the sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector in Europe. The innovative research carried out within the project’s framework is focused on producing industry-applicable outputs and bringing the aquaculture sector in Europe to a new level.

The latest industry-relevant outputs from the project will be presented and discussed at the upcoming AQUAEXCEL2020 industry brokerage event, taking place on the 9th of October 2019 (15:40hrs – 18:00hrs), as part of the EU EATiP Day at the Aquaculture Europe 2019 conference in Berlin.This forum for engagement and exchange will be hosted by the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) and AquaTT, both partners in AQUAEXCEL2020.

Supporting research innovation to industry application is key to AQUAEXCEL2020, and involves maintaining active engagement between researchers and aquaculture industry stakeholders. This brokerage event provides an excellent opportunity to share with aquaculture industry stakeholders some of the many innovative outputs emerging directly from the varied research within the AQUAEXCEL2020 project, and also through its Transnational Access (TNA) programme. The TNA programme funds access to 39 top aquaculture research facilities across Europe, offering researchers the possibility to undertake experimental trials on commercially important aquaculture fish species and system types.

The industry brokerage event will include pitches of several knowledge outputs of high potential for the European aquaculture industry. The outputs to be presented were selected by the AQUAEXCEL2020 Industry and Research Advisory Panel (IRAP) which comprises high-level professionals from the aquaculture industry and research sectors.

The schedule will include a presentation from Dr. Jovanka Lukic on the effects of Lactic Acid Bacteria applied either through live feed or commercial dry feed, on growth and microflora of larval pike perch. Also presenting on the rapidly evolving area of fish feed will be Ana Basto, who will discuss outcomes of research on European seabass fed by the mealworm Tenebrio molitor. The principal aim of this research was to assess the use of large quantities of insects as protein sources to replace fishmeal in diets for sea bass, and to examine possible effects on their growth and welfare. Insect-meal replacements are a popular research topic, and Dr. Stavros Chatzifotis will highlight their findings looking at three different types of insect meal replacements.

Along with fish nutrition there will be various other aquaculture research areas covered. Dr. Josep Calduch-Giner will present a protocol for early life management for optimal fish performance, highlighting surprising findings in relation to low O2 (hypoxic) conditions at early life stages of gilthead sea bream and its impact later in life. In terms of fish disease, Dr. Carla Piazzon will present on gene expression analysis of Atlantic salmon gills and how it reveals certain key molecules during amoebic gill disease, one of the main health challenges for the marine Atlantic salmon industry worldwide. It is expected that the findings could contribute to a more timely and accurate detection of the disease which will prevent stock losses and improve fish welfare. Please visit the project website for a full list of topics which will be covered at the event.

In addition to the high potential knowledge outputs, innovative findings and developments from the AQUAEXCEL2020 project will be presented, one of which is AE-FishBIT. This tiny device is designed to be attached to the operculum of farmed fish for individual monitoring of their metabolic traits. The newly patented tool is the result of collaboration amongst biologists, engineers and bioinformaticians from two AQUAEXCEL2020 institutes. The makers are now looking for collaborators to manufacture the product and /or license the patent to bring the device to market.

The next and final AQUAEXCEL2020 industry brokerage event will be held at next year’s Aquaculture Europe 2020 event in Cork (Ireland), presenting the latest high-potential industry-relevant outputs that will be resulting from the final year of the project.

To find out more about the recent research findings from AQUAEXCEL2020 and their applicability to industry, please visit the project’s website: www.aquaexcel2020.eu

Notes for editors

AQUAEXCEL2020 is a research and innovation action funded under the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. The project runs for five years from 2015 to 2020, with a total budget of €9.7 million funded by the EU.

The AQUAEXCEL2020 consortium includes 22 partner organisations offering access to 39 top level aquaculture facilities in 12 European countries. The project is coordinated by the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in France. AquaTT (Ireland) is the project dissemination partner.

The annual Aquaculture Europe event will be held this year in Berlin, Germany, 7-10 October 2019. With a theme of ‘Our Future: Growing from Water’, it will recognise how the aquaculture sector nourishes and stimulates life in water in all its ways, and thereby holds the potential to overcome many of the challenges our society faces. For more information regarding the AE2019 event, please visit: https://www.aquaeas.eu/uncategorised/402-welcome-to-aquaculture-europe-2019

Scientific Contact

Dr. Marc Vandeputte (INRA, France): Marc.Vandeputte@inra.fr

IRAP Contact

Catherine Pons (EATiP, Belgium): Catherine@eatip.eu

Press & Communication Contact

Rebecca Doyle (AquaTT, Ireland): Rebecca@aquatt.ie

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