EIT Food announces the results of its sustainable aquaculture competition, with seven new projects launching and 18 new partners joining the EIT Community.
EIT Food’s sustainable aquaculture competition launched in December 2020 in order to strengthen the innovation portfolio of its 2021-2023 Business Plan and to expand its partner community, in what is the fastest growing form of food production.
A total of 85 organisations from within and outside the EIT Food community participated in the competition. Of these, 32 project proposals were submitted for evaluation against their potential impact to fast-track sustainability within aquaculture. Two weeks after the European Commission has adopted its new strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture 2021-2030, EIT Food is delighted to confirm that seven winning projects will now launch activities to accelerate innovation in the aquaculture sector. As a result of the competition, 18 new partners will be joining EIT Food to expand and strengthen its community in aquaculture.
The selected projects from EIT Food’s sustainable aquaculture competition will make progress in the following areas:
- Reducing food loss and waste by extending the shelf life of seafood products whilst increasing product safety and quality
- Enhancing product quality, fish welfare and reducing likelihood of disease
- Producing high-quality and accessible sustainable feeds
- Preserving marine biodiversity and ecosystems
- Transforming aquaculture into a circular form of food production
- Increasing the resilience and competitiveness of the EU aquaculture sector
- Strengthening collaboration among stakeholders and addressing skills gaps
“The European Farm to Fork strategy aims to provide healthy and sustainable food systems; this is one of the key objectives of the European Green Deal. I truly believe that aquaculture is a critical part of the solution. Our promising innovation projects present a collaborative approach to meet the objectives of the European Green Deal and to transform the aquaculture industry into a sustainable form of food production. This forms part of EIT Food’s wider mission to make our entire food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.”
Mercedes Groba, Innovation Programme Manager at EIT Food
About the Projects
The winning projects from EIT Food’s sustainable aquaculture competition are as follows:
- Sustainable Seafood Processing (SuSeaPro) – will develop novel processing technologies that extend the shelf-life of seafood products, that do not rely on additives or heat treatment, to reduce food loss and waste from farm to fork. The project will also improve food safety and enhance consumer perception by reducing the microbial growth of harmful pathogens.
- Next Tuna: Creating a Sustainable Tuna Industry – will create the first sustainable European source of tuna by reproducing Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in a land-based, eco-friendly recirculating aquaculture system. The project will contribute to the preservation of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and more widely, protect the wildlife of our oceans and seas.
- Ground-breaking Circular Economy Feed Ingredient for Farmed Salmon – will develop a fish feed for salmon that contains protein from recycled wastewater in the starch industry. The project will support the natural defence mechanisms of salmon by supporting their basic biological functions, while preventing disease. The fish feed will be made from a sustainable fungi-based protein to replace the use of fishmeal and soybean meal.
- BREEZE: A revolutionary eco-friendly system for fish health management – The BREEZE project will enable the successful scaling of sustainably managed fish farms, to meet the growing demand for healthy proteins. It aims to bring to market a residue-free prevention and control system for sea lice management, to contribute to increasing resistance to diseases, while increasing awareness of animal welfare and minimising environmental impact.
- AGAPE: Aquacultural Global AI Platform for Europe’s Skills Passport – AGAPE represents an AI-based collaborative platform. This platform addresses the EU aquaculture market, academia, consumers and research ecosystems. AGAPE is first in bringing an innovative model of interaction between stakeholders. It will broaden community on skills, capabilities and competencies, globally and in real time.
- DELTA FUTURO: shellfish juvenile production model - is an optimised sustainable shellfish farming system, that aims to guarantee the wellbeing of shellfish juveniles and ensure food security for future consumers. The project will respond to the lack of high quality manila clam seed by scaling up hatcheries and improving seed availability for farmers.
- Just Add Water: utilising world-leading technology to minimise environmental impact and maximise fish welfare of farmed salmon – will grow Atlantic salmon in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), throughout the EU. The project will aim to expand and commercialise its technology that improves animal welfare and product quality and accommodates many fish species across multiple geographical locations.